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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Vermicelli Payasam

This one makes for a great weekday dessert, simple to make and great tasting.
Payasam basically refers to a milk-baed dessert, the North Indian equivalent to this is kheer. There are many permutations and combinations that work - vermicelli payasam is one made with thin rice noodles and milk.

To make 2 cups of payasam -


2 tablespoons vermicelli ( thin rice noodles)
3 cups milk
6-7 spoons sugar ( depending on how sweet you like it)

Take a thick bottomed copper vessel - this is the best kind of vessel for payasam. Add the milk and let it come to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir from time to time, the milk should not stick to the bottom.
Add sugar, mix well and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes
In another pan, dry roast the vermicelli till it turns slightly golden ( dont allow it to brown too much).
Add the vermicelli to the simmering milk and let it simmer for another 5 minutes till the vermicelli is cooked.

The basic payasam is ready.
Vermicelli Payasam can accomodate a number of toppings.

slivered almonds - soak almonds in warm water for 10 minutes. Peel and slice thinly and add to the kheer
Other nice toppings are chopped cashews, pistachios, raisins or a pinch of saffron.

My personal favourite is to add 'Doodh masala'. This is basically a mix of a number of nuts and saffron which are ground coarsely and sold in little boxes. A teaspoon of this powder added to warm milk and sugar makes for a wonderfully rich and tasty drink - perfect for cold winter evenings. I like to add a spoon of this masala to my 'Vermicelli payasam' to give it a great aroma and flavor.

So heres to nurturing and nourishing that sweet tooth - enjoy!!


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