Boil the milk and keep it aside.
Add ghee to a heated pan and add the roasted vermicelli, mix well.
Add the boiled milk, cardamom and sugar to the vermicelli, and keep stirring.
When the mixture starts boiling, reduce to the flames to medium and cook while keep stirring to avoid burning until the vermicelli is cooked - this will take around 4 to 5 minutes (it will also get cooked further as it sits in the hot milk).
Make sure to keep stirring to avoid burning and also to prevent the formation of lumps.
As the vermicelli gets cooked in 4 to 5 minutes, add the saffron strands and milkmaid and mix everything well until well combined - you can cook for another 1 minute so the milkmaid gets really well blended with the kheer.
At this point, vermicelli is completely cooked and the kheer is ready, but the vermicelli has a tendency to absorb milk and become overcooked if you leave it really hot.
So what I do is, I add a little cold whole milk, say ½ cup to 1 cup to the kheer, so the hotness is reduced and the kheer will stay just warm. If it still becomes more thick later, you can add more milk as required. Also check the sweetness of the kheer at this point, and add more sugar if you prefer more sweetness.
Now the payasam or kheer is ready, let us go on to garnish the dessert.
To prepare the garnishing, In a small pan, heat ghee and add the cashews.
As the cashews starts to turn golden brown, add the raisins too and fry for few seconds.
Add the fried cashews and raisins to the dessert and gently mix. Semiya payasam or vermicelli kheer is ready. Add the chilled milk as needed to adjust the consistency of the payasam (vermicelli thickens as it cools down absorbing the milk, so you will need to add more milk as it cools down, but this is totally fine!). Serve the delicious vermicelli kheer warm or chilled as you like!