Winters are no doubt the time to indulge. And how wonderful would it be if one could indulge without the guilt pangs gnawing at one’s conscience 😉 Not all desserts are sinful and this payasam is a testament to this fact. Payasam is a south Indian term for north Indian kheer and Bengali payesh. Payasam is usually made with rice or vermicelli but you are likely to find many variations and versions to it. I love how easy and quick making the payasam with vermicelli is. We used to call it Seviyan or semiyan as any Punjabi would tell you and my mom used to add carrots to it to make it healthier. (many people consider the thinner version as seviyan but we used to call these also as seviyan) I find making this dessert so convenient. It gets ready in 20 minutes and can be made ahead. With goodness of carrots and fragrant cardamoms, this creamy dessert is ideal to serve after a desi meal.
A deliciously creamy, quick & easy to cook, make-ahead dessert with the goodness of carrots and fragrant cardamoms. (This recipe is a great alternative to the Indian Kheer – rice based pudding)
1 Cup, loosely packed – peeled, washed and roughly shredded Carrots
3 tbsp Water
1 tsp Sugar
1 scant Cup Vermicelli (broken and dry roasted till golden brown)
1 litre Whole Milk
3 tbsp Sugar (or to taste)
½ tsp Cardamom powder
Toasted nuts & raisins to garnish & serve (optional)
In a pan, add the carrots, water and sugar and place it on low heat. Cover the pan.
Meanwhile, place the milk in a heavy bottom pot and put it on medium high heat. Allow the milk to heat up and then stir in the vermicelli. Cook the vermicelli in milk for 10 minutes, stirring continuously for the initial 3 – 4 minutes to prevent vermicelli from clumping. Stir once in a while later to prevent the contents from burning.
Allow the carrots also to cook for 10 minutes or till the water is nearly absorbed. (do stir once in a while to prevent the carrots from catching at the bottom).
Transfer the carrots to the vermicelli pot along with the cardamom powder and cook the contents for further 3 – 4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add sugar and stir well.
Cool the payasam and do stir it once in a while to prevent a thick creamy layer from being formed at the top. Cool completely and transfer to the serving bowl and cover with the cling wrap or lid. Refrigerate it and serve chilled garnished with nuts of your choice.
Tip: Serve in individual glasses for an elegant looking dessert.
Note: My Mum always used to cook the carrots separately with water and sugar and I have never tried it any other way!
Note: The vermicelli pudding will thicken upon cooling so do not be tempted to go beyond this time.
Note: Feel free to add aromatics of your choice such as nutmeg or cinnamon or may be some orange zest.
Note: I used pre-roasted vermicelli. In case you require to roast the vermicelli, please increase the amount of ‘preparation time’. They vermicelli needs to be roasted at low heat to prevent it from getting burnt.
Note: If possible try to get your hands on the red colored Indian carrots that are sweeter and tastier than the orange ones.
Note: Vegans can swap milk with coconut milk
Note: Sugar can be swapped with jiggery for sweetening the pudding.
Serves – 4