semiya kesari

Semiya Kesari

By Swasthi on August 4, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Semiya Kesari is a simple South Indian Sweet made with semiya aka vermicelli, sugar, ghee, water or milk and saffron color or saffron strands. It is simply a variation of the Rava kesari but semolina is replaced with semiya here. Semiya Kesari is similar to the Sweet Seviyan made without milk but with the addition of Kesar (saffron) which is the star of this dish.

semiya kesari

Vermicelli is one of those most common ingredients used in Indian homes to make kesari, Semiya upma and Kheer.

There are some sweets which I rarely make at home, considering the amount of unhealthy refined sugar that goes towards making them. This semiya kesari is one of them.

I choose to make this as a last minute option since it can be made quickly within 15 minutes & tastes good.

You can make this semiya kesari when you have a sudden craving for a sweet dish or when you have some guests and you don’t want to cook anything elaborate. I do that a lot of times and pair it with Onion pakoda & Masala chai.

During festive seasons, we end up confused with no idea what to make. That is another time I make this for occasions for Diwali or Ganesh Chaturthi.

I make this colorful semiya kesari without using any food colors, just by adding a pinch of saffron. If you are keen to use artificial color use organic natural color.

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semiya kesari recipe

How to Make Semiya Kesari (Stepwise photos)

1. Bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a separate pot or microwave.

2. While the water boils, add 2 tablespoons ghee to a pan. Add 10 cashews chopped or split. Fry them until lightly golden, add 10 raisins. Stir till they swell up. Transfer them to a plate.

frying raisins cashews in ghee for semiya kesari recipe

3. Add 1 cup semiya and fry till lightly golden. Do not discolor or burn them.

frying vermicelli in ghee to make semiya kesari recipe

4. Pour the hot water to the semiya. Add a pinch of crushed saffron strands and ⅛ teaspoon cardamom powder. You can add cardamom powder with sugar too later. Bring the water to a boil on high flame. When it begins to boil, reduce the flame to medium and cook till fully cooked. If your semiya is undercooked and all of the water has evaporated you may add more water.

adding hot water to make semiya kesari recipe

5. Add sugar and stir. Sugar melts and releases moisture. Let it cook till all the moisture evaporates. Do not overcook, semiya kesari becomes rubbery and sticky. Make sure you add sugar only when the semiya is cooked fully else semiya becomes hard.

Add sugar and stir

Turn off and serve hot or warm. Semiya kesari turns lumpy as it cools down.

semiya kesari

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

semiya kesari

Semiya Kesari

Vermicelli or Semiya Kesari recipe is a south Indian dessert made with vermicelli, sugar, ghee, saffron, nuts and raisins.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup semiya or vermicelli
  • ½ to ¾ cup Sugar
  • tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 Pinch saffron or kesari color
  • 1½ to 1¾ cups water (refer notes)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 10 cashews split or as desired
  • 10 raisins or as desired



  • Bring water to a boil in a pot on stove or microwave.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pot or pan with ghee.
  • Next add cashew nuts and fry them till light golden.
  • Then add raisins and fry until they swell up. Remove these to a plate.
  • Add semiya to the pan and roast them lightly on a medium flame.
  • Do not let them brown. If using roasted semiya skip this step of roasting.

How to make Semiya Kesari

  • Pour hot water to the pan and increase the flame till the water begins to boil rapidly.
  • Next add saffron and cardamom powder.
  • Reduce the flame to medium and cook till the semiya is fully cooked.
  • If the semiya is undercooked and all of the water has evaporated, simply add more water.
  • Add sugar and stir gently. Sugar begins to melt and release moisture.
  • Cook till all the moisture evaporates and comes to a semi dry consistency.
  • Garnish semiya kesari with nuts and raisins. If desired can add a tsp of ghee.


The quantity of water to use depends on the kind of semiya. The proportions mentioned above work best for bambino and other thick variety semiya. If you are using thinner variety, then reduce the water to ¾ cup. If the water is not sufficient to cook, you can sprinkle some more water and cook further.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Semiya Kesari
Amount Per Serving
Calories 524 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 145mg6%
Potassium 69mg2%
Carbohydrates 99g33%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 34g38%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Semiya Kesari

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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No Milk?

5 stars
came out well mam..

I had this yesterday at an Indian restaurant and it was wonderful. Very glad to have found this recipe for it,

4 stars
Super easy and tasty!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

semiya keseri looks really mouthwatering .

i love semiya

4 stars
Very nice looking,I also do n the same way but don’t know y taste never comes up

4 stars
Simply and super…!

I love this anytime… yummmm

like it!! I also made semiya kesari once..

very innovative semiya.. liked it..