Pal payasam (milk payasam) with semiya and javvarisi. Payasam is similar to rice pudding and can be served hot, lukewarm or cold. It is also known as kheer in other parts of India.
1/4 cup small tapioca (sabudana, javvarisi) pearls, soaked in water for 1 hour
1/2 cup vermicelli (semiya, in 1/2 inch long pieces)
6 cups whole milk
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon butter or ghee
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons raw cashew pieces (alternately, use pistachios or almonds)
1/2 cup sugar
Place soaked tapioca pearls in a large sauce pan. Add milk and cardamom pods and simmer on medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes. (If I am making a large batch I may simmer the milk for 60 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a shallow frying pan. To this add the cashews and raisins and saute until cashews are golden brown. Scoop the cashews and raisins out of the pan, leaving the melted butter. Add the vermicelli to this and saute/dry roast until they turn golden brown and immediately remove from heat.
When the tapioca pearls are cooked through, add the vermicelli, raisins, and cashews and simmer until the vermicelli is cooked. Stir in the sugar and adjust per your taste.
The payasam will thicken as it cools. If you prefer more liquid, stir in milk and/or cream, per your taste.