Vermicelli Upma which is also sometimes refer to as Semiya Upma is a famous Indian breakfast recipe. There are various different versions of this dish and the one I shared today, is super simple and quick. The breakfast comes together in less than 15 minutes.
Upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast prepared with assorted veggies and semolina. The semolina Upma is something I have been familiar with since I was a kid.
Vermicelli Upma I learned from Arvind. And then he once made for my Mom, and now this Vermicelli Upma is my Mom's go-to dinner on days when she doesn't feel like eating rice or roti.
Vermicelli Upma is a great choice for lunch box as it tastes equally good even at room temperature and vermicelli doesn't get soggy or mushy when packed in the lunch box.
What is Vermicelli Upma ?
Vermicelli is a kind of pasta made with durum wheat semolina and eggs. The store bought ones that we get in India probably doesn't contain eggs, but you might want to read the ingredients list if you don't eat eggs.
In Italy, the shape of Vermicelli is much thicker than the kind I grew up eating. The ones you get in India are more like angle hair pasta. And the noodles are sold broken instead of long strands.
In Indian stores, you will also find roasted vermicelli, which will be a tad bit darker shade.
What you need for this Semiya Upma
Semiya Upma doesn't have a strict ingredient list. You can add assorted vegetables of your choice. Peanuts and grated coconuts are added quite commonly in South of India.
I learned this dish from my husband, and he always kept it super simple with just a few little ingredients.
We skip the veggies and keep it to just onion and tomatoes.
Fresh Curry leaves are a must, along with black mustard seeds and some green chili for heat.
Salt and sugar for seasoning, and we also skip the turmeric. But feel free to add if you find the look too bland.
End it with lemon juice and ghee for the refreshing aroma.
Few Keys Points to remember
For a beautiful texture of the Upma, make sure you dry roast the vermicelli in medium heat by stirring constantly, so you get even color all around.
When you are boiling the vermicelli, don't add too much water or else it will get soggy.
Once the vermicelli is cooked, fluff it with a fork, so the strands stay separated. A tip we follow even after cooking rice or pilaf.
Vermicelli upma is a very common dish, and we can make it our own way by adding our choice of vegetables. It is a great option for lunch box too.
- 2.5 cups Vermicelli noodles
- 1 small red onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Few fresh curry leaves
- 1 green chili
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Place a heavy bottom skillet at medium heat and scatter the vermicelli noddles. Toss it around and roast it to a light brown shade. Then take it off the pan.
- Thinly slice the onion and tomato.
- Finely chop a few curry leaves and leave a few whole.
- Finely chop the green chili
- To the same skillet, pour the oil and once it heats up, add the black mustard seeds. It will splatter, so be careful.
- Add the chopped curry leaves and the chopped green chili.
- Toss it around for a few seconds and then add the sliced onion. Sprinkle salt and cook the onion, until it's softened.
- Add the sliced tomato and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Scatter the roasted vermicelli and toss it around. Then add water (I used about 3 cups) and mix it around. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once done, remove the lid and, using a fork, fluff it. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Finally add the lemon juice and ghee, toss it around.
- Enjoy Vermicelli Upma, fresh and warm.
- I like to pair it with a cup of chai.