1 c. vermicelli (or capllini pasta) 4 c. whole milk 3/4 c. sugar 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1/2 c. raisins 1/2 c. broken raw cashews 1/4 tsp. ground cardomon 2 c. water
Break vermicelli (or angel-hair/capellini pasta) into 3/4 inch pieces and fry in a large saucepan with 1 tsp. butter until vermicelli turns golden brown. Set aside.
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, heat milk with 2 cups of water (leave out the water for a thicker payasam) on medium. As soon as the milk boils, reduce heat and add fried vermicelli. Continue to simmer for 6 minutes, or until vermicelli is well cooked. Add sugar and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. When done the consistency should be creamy.
While the milk is simmering, in the frying pan used for the vermicelli, fry the raisins and cashews in the remaining 2 tsp. butter until slightly browned. Add to the milk, stir and remove from heat.
Cover and chill. Serve warm.