Cook the vermicelli in milk, and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add a teaspoon of ghee. Roast the vermicelli on low heat until it turns golden brown.
Add the milk, turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the milk is boiling with the semiya, turn the heat to low and until the semiya is cooked completely.
Add in the sugar and cardamom powder and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Simmer the payasam for another 5 minutes till the flavours are absorbed and the payasam looks thick and creamy.
You can adjust the consistency of the payasam based on your preference. Note that once the payasam cools down, the semiya will begin to absorb all the milk and get thicker as well.
While the payasam simmers, take a small pan, add a teaspoon of ghee and roast the cashewnuts on a low flame till crisp and golden. Add the raisins, stir for a few seconds and keep aside.
Turn off the heat and garnish the payasam with the cashewnuts and raisins. Serve hot. It tastes even better the next day as a chilled dessert.
By Ria Samuel