Payasam is a classic South Indian dish, usually prepared for observing religious rituals, served as offerings and can also make an appearance after supper once in a while. But surely a dish this decadent should be enjoyed in copious amounts and frequently too?

With the Hindu holy month of Purtassi coming to a close, I couldn’t resist cooking more payasam. In India, this dish varies from using rice to vermicelli, although I think vermicelli is a firm favorite amongst South African Indians. Oddly enough, here in South Africa, rarely is this dish referred to as ‘Payasam’and rather called by its Italian ingredient ‘Vermicelli’. Keen to try a dairy free milk variation of payasam, Almond Breeze Original milk would definitely do.


4tbs of butter/margarine

2 cups of broken vermicelli

300ml of Almond Breeze Original milk (amount depends on how creamy you prefer it)

1tbs condensed milk (optional)

3tbs of sugar (amount depends on how sweet you prefer it)

2 cinnamon sticks

1tsp of cardamom powder

Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Pinch of fine salt (optional)

Chopped almond nibs



Add butter to a pot and let it melt before pouring in the broken vermicelli.

Fry vermicelli at a low heat until it starts to brown.

Add in half of desired Almond Breeze Original milk, sugar and condensed milk.

Stir well, to avoid clumps before adding in spices and almond nibs. and increase heat to medium.

Add in the remaining milk depending on the consistency you would prefer.

Increase heat to medium, the mixture will start to boil but keep stirring to avoid overspilling and getting burnt.

Overall, payasam should take approximately 20 – 25 minutes and you can decide whether you prefer a thin or thicker consistency.

Serve warm.

*Amount can serve up to 4, we generally have leftovers but it’s only the two of us. Payasam can also get thicker once cooked so adding a few drops of Almond Breeze Original milk before reheating is a great idea!

You can also add a delightful number of extras to this dish ranging from pitted dates, raisins, and even sliced banana. Have you shared your recipes with Almond Breeze? Use #AlmondBreezeSAPurtassi and you could stand a chance to win a case of delicious AND feature your recipe on their Instagram!

Indian desserts are usually rich, buttery and overly indulgent. But Payasam with Almond Breeze Original milk is a healthier version that tastes decadent, adds a new dimension of flavour and keeps the calorie intake lower.