Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SEMIYA PAYASAM சேமியா பாயசம்


SEMIYA PAYASAM சேமியா பாயசம்

Semiya or vermicelli may have its origin in China where it is known as Mian xian which is pronounced as Mia chian. Italy also claims as the birth place of Noodles just on the strength of Marco polo's account of taking noodles to China. Marco polo, for that matter, has never been mentioned by Chinese historians at any point of time.

I tend to give china the benefit of doubt as birth place of Noodles.

Coming back to sev,Semiya, shavaiyan or shevige as it is known in various languages in India, all refer to vermicelli made from Rava or semolina and wheat flour. Many different dishes are made from vermicelli but two dishes which have remained my favoriteee are "Biranj" and Semiya Payasam. Biranj is a sweet like Halwa made from semiya, sugar, Milk , Ghee and cardamon. This was the easiest sweet and fast to make for my old aunt. She would either make Rawa Sheera or Biranj when guest came calling un announced.

After coming to Madras as a Thirteen year old, I came across Various Payasams made in southern Iyer style as cooked by our Iyer lady cook Late Kamalamma. She was a traditionalist of Kumbhakonam-Mayavaram style cooking and insisted on using Pachhai Karpooram in all her sweets. She learnt usage of Cardamom and Jaiphal after working with us.
I bring to you the way I prepare Semiya Payasam now.


semiya payasam


Vermicelli (Bambino/MTR) 1/2 cup
Ghee/Clarified Butter....2 to 3 TBSP
whole Milk 1 litre
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (as per taste)
Saffron.....few strands
Raisin......2 Tsp
cardamom ...5 to 6 nos powdered
cashew splits....1/4 cup


Saute Vermicelli in Ghee/Rarified butter till it becomes golden brown. Set aside. Take some more ghee in the same pan and fry cashew nut splits till they become light brown. Same way fry reisin till they bloat into round shape.

Take about 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Add fried vermicelli till it gets cooked. On the other stove, place milk to boil and add sugar, Cardamom powder and let it thicken on medium heat for thirty minutes. Some people add condensed milk to avoid this stage. I follow Kamalamma.

When milk gets reduced to 3/4th of original quantity, add cooked semiya, fried cashew splits and resins and gently stir and let it stand for an hour till semiya absorbs sweetness.

Garnish with strands of saffron and serve . Semya can be served ice cold or real hot.

I prefer room temperature with food and ice cold as dessert.


No comments:

Post a Comment