Posted on | May 21, 2007 | 30 Comments |
I’ve been doing a much needed spring cleaning this whole weekend, getting the condo ready for my parents’ visit. They will be spending the summer with us, my mom will be taking over the kitchen for three months, so I decided to organize my pantry and kitchen to make things easier for her to find. When we traded in the luxury of the chef’s kitchen with infinite cabinet space and walk-in pantry for the city life and ocean view, we got stuck with a kitchen where two is a crowd and a pantry where not even Nicole Richie could walk in. The overflowing pantry made everything impossible to find, which got us into a vicious cycle, we kept buying new stuff whenever we couldn’t find anything, which of course added to the mess. When I finally cleaned out the pantry, there were five bottles of balsamic vinegar, six bottles of fish sauce and four different bags of aniseed, just to give some examples. After a lot of consolidation and throwing out expired items, finally it is in a manageable state. Now we just need to maintain it for three more weeks till my mom gets here, then it is her problem.
Okay, I forgot where I was going with the story. Oh yeah, during my cleaning process, I came across a packet of vermicelli / Semiya which had been sitting there for a while. Since I’ve been cooking some really hard dishes this weekend, I decided to make an easy one for a change. Hey, give me a break, I’ve been cleaning non-stop. Also, the weather has been pretty lousy today, the gloomy Seattle sky made me crave for something warm and sweet.
Semiya Payasam is similar to a regular rice pudding, but instead of rice we use Semiya as Vermicelli is known in Kerala. (shemai in Bengali, seviyan in Hindi and Urdu, shavige in Kannada – from Wikipedia.). Normally this is made with whole milk, I only had fat free milk, that too I didn’t have enough, so I added half a cup of sweetened condensed milk to balance it out. You can omit the condensed milk and use three cups of whole milk instead of the fat free milk.
- 100 g broken Vermicelli (~ 1/4 lb)
- 1 dsp ghee/clarified butter
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups fat free milk
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- ~12 cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp raisins
Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashewnuts till brown, fry the raisins till plump and keep aside.
In the same ghee, saute the vermicelli till light brown and keep aside.
Bring the water to a boil in a deep pan. Add the fried vermicelli to the pan and cook till half the water is gone.
Add the milk and sweetened condensed milk and sugar and stir to combine.
Simmer on medium low till the vermicelli is soft. Add the cardamom powder and stir well.
Garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins.
This can be served hot or chilled.
Recipe adapted from: Flavours of the Spice Coast by Mrs.K.M. Mathew
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