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Hispanic Heritage Month Recipes

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Each year, from September 15 to October 15 Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. 2021 was especially significant because it was the 200th anniversary of Costa Rican Independence from Spain. Here are a few traditional & unique Latin American recipes you may want to add to your menu: 

Semiya Payasam - Vermicelli Kheer

Amma came to visit this summer, she stayed with us for 2 months. This is the first time she's seen our new home. She spent a lot of time in our expanded flower & kitchen garden, feeding the koi in our pond, cooking and making treats & snacks, and of course watching Guy Fieri's Triple D & Chopped. While she was here she showed me how to make this delicious pudding made from vermicelli pasta, milk and of course cardamom. Semiya Payasam, also known as Vermicelli Kheer, is an essential dish in many Hindu festivals and celebrations.  I never really would have thought that, that combination of milk and pasta would be so tasty! The sweet milky vermicelli picks up the fragrant cardamom beautifully in this delicious pudding topped with toasted cashews and plump raisins.
Here is Amma's recipe:

Semiya Payasam

Emily (Cooking for Kishore)


    Semiya Payasam
  • 1/4 cup Vermicelli (Semiya) Broken into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1/8 cup Sugar
  • 2 Green Cardamom Pods, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron
  • 1 Tbsp Raisins
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Cashews


  1. Heat half the ghee in a pot and toast cashews and raisins till lightly browned 2-3 minutes, remove and put aside for later.
  2. Add the other half the ghee to the pot and toast the vermicelli till it starts to turn reddish brown. Then add the milk and bring to a boil stirring gently. Continue cooking till the vermicelli is done.
  3. Add the sugar, crushed cardamom, and saffron, then stir.
  4. Garnish with toasted cashews and raisins. Serve warm or chilled.
Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 20 mins.
Total time: 30 mins.
Tags: vermicelli pudding, vermicelli pudding recipe, semiya payasam, semiya payasam recipe, festival recipes, south indian recipe 


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