Delicious Pink Semiya Payasam Recipe

Sweet Porridge also known as Payasam is the ultimate dessert in Kerala Cuisine. When it comes to an easy-to-prepare payasam, the Vermicelli or Semiya Payasam comes to mind immediately. It is very recently that I came across a video of a variant of this dish which is pink in color. If you are familiar with Kerala food, you might have come across a payasam called Palada which has a light pink color. But that color is achieved through caramelization of sugar. To be more precise it is light brownish in color and not really “pink”. However, the maker of this video took a different route to add exact pink color to semiya payasam. So when I checked online for this method I found that there were many people who have tried this and successfully added pinkish tint to their payasams. The following is our version of the same which my mom and I prepared. It is more or less similar to what is available in other videos and websites.

Ingredients

  • Semiya (Vermicelli) – 350 gm
  • Milk – 3.5 liters
  • Sugar – 500 gm
  • Clarified Butter (ghee) – as required
  • Cashew Nuts – as required
  • Raisins (Kismis) – as required
  • Almonds – as required
  • Green Cardamoms – as required
  • Beetroot – 1
  • Rose Water – two teaspoons

Preparation

Pink Color

As you may already guessed, the beetroot in the list of ingredients is used for making the pink color.

  • Cut the beetroot into small pieces
  • Add about 1.5 cups of water to it
  • Boil this mixture until the color of beetroot is extracted into the water
  • Turn off the flame and set aside

Payasam

  • Break the semiya into small pieces of half an inch length
  • Heat the ghee in a large vessel
  • Stir fry the semiya until most of the pieces have attained light golden-yellowish-brownish color
  • Turn off the flame and remove the semiya from the vessel
  • Pour the milk into the same vessel and start heating
  • Stir the milk until its water content is reduced and it becomes thicker
  • Add the fried semiya into this and continue stirring
  • Take a piece of semiya and squeeze it to see whether it has been cooked
  • If it is cooked well, add sugar and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved
  • Add 4 tablespoons of beetroot essence that you had prepared earlier. This will turn the payasam pink.
  • Stir for 2 – 3 more minutes
  • Crush the cardamoms in a pestle
  • Remove the skin from the crushed cardamoms
  • Add this to the payasam
  • Add two teaspoons of rose water to this
  • Turn off the flame and close the container leaving a slight gap so that the the steam can escape

Garnishing

  • Cut almonds into small pieces
  • Heat ghee in a small frying pan
  • Fry the cashews and remove it
  • Fry the raisins and remove it
  • Fry the almonds and remove it
  • Add these fried items into the payasam and stir

Tips

  • Do not add sugar before the semiya pieces are cooked. It will interfere with the cooking process
  • While frying, never allow the semiya pieces to become dark brown
  • You can add more beetroot essence before serving if you need a darker shade of pink in your payasam
  • You can add more rose water but make sure that you don’t add too much as it may affect the taste.

Your Pink Semiya Payasam is now ready. If you have any questions or comments, you can put that in the comments below. I must thank Mia Kitchen and others who gave us this idea. We plan to extend this to other payasams such as Palada and see how it goes. Thanks for reading.

Bon appetit!