I know few people who don't like Semiya Payasam. I really don't know how they can't love this! For me, this was a special treat while growing up. Pal Payasam or Semiya Payasam always reminds of festivals and other occasions that are special. If there is something to celebrate, then its delicious semiya payasam that gets prepared in a jiffy! And of course I love the payasam that Amma makes. Since I don't like cashew nor eat them, she uses Badam always, just for me. The other times, when she uses cashew for reasons, my family members are happy because they don't have to look out for cashew, for sure all of them would've landed in my bowl and I will give them. Amma makes some naivedyam everyday. And Saturday was mostly semiya payasam and I used to love walking around the house, with the fragrance of simmering payasam sneaking out. I always love payasam piping hot, so its always right after the moment it is offered to God.
During childhood, I remember those long vermicelli being sold and Amma used to buy them in bulk. Just before preparing, she would break them down into pieces. I used to help her in this process and it used to be fun crackling them down with hands to break them into small pieces. These days I hardly find semiya or vermicelli like that. There is not much fun now! The greatness and sweetness of this is in boiling the milk a little longer and adding little water to get that watery consistency. Amma adds the sugar in the right amount but I add little extra. I always believe sweet has to be sweetest! And also I let the semiya to be little raw which gives that glittering and chaka taste. I really don't like the semiya to be overcooked. Konda got a liking to this because Amma makes it every week. But its been a while I had prepared it.
My sil and my niece are visiting us. As I said, its usually kesari bath the first day during their visit.But this trip I couldn't prepare it. So when I got back home, the kids were playing and I called my niece to ask what she wants to be prepared. She said she wants Pal kova. I was hesitant as it takes long time and a constant vigilance near the stove. So I asked her the next best shot. She said payasam. For me, payasam has always been semiya payasam. Paal payasam is something that's not so frequently done at home as I prefer semiya. And also semiya payasam is something that can get done in flat 15 mins. So it was semiya payasam that was done. I took a moment to indulge, for it reminds me of the many Saturdays that Amma used to make and I basked in its liquid delight once again.
Since Bee and Jai asked us to show Liquid comforts, I am sending this to them, as this is my most comforting liquid.
Milk - 500 ml
Semiya - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 & 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashew Nuts - 10 whole
Raisins - 15
Ghee - 2 tsp
Method to prepare:
Heat a pan with ghee. Toast the raisins till they become balloons. Then the cashew nuts to golden brown. They become crispy. Remove to plate and then roast the semiya or vermicelli. Remove to plate.
In the pan, pour Milk and bring to boil. Simmer for 2 mins. Add little water if needed.
Then sugar and let it dissolve. Then add the roasted semiya and mix well and simmer for 10 mins. Finally add the cashew nuts and raisins.