Semiya (Vermicelli) Upma

Upma is one of my favourite warm evening indulgence, be it made with poha (flattened rice or beaten rice), Sooji (semolina) or semiya, i.e. vermicelli; any of these three can make me happy, though there is a little partiality towards semiya. I have been making upma for quite a long time, so I don’t remember which recipe I clutched as my inspiration, but I can help you with my lazy-easy tried & tasted version.. Ready??


  • White Semiya- 1/2 cup (the amount of semiya you use, it will become almost double after cooking)
  • Finely diced carrots
  • Finely diced onions
  • Chopped green chilies – 1 (if you don’t like., don’t bother)
  • Urad Dal (black gram lentils but it looks white, there are two types of black gram lentils) 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chana Dal (Split chickpeas) 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves- 6-8 leaves
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ghee: 1/2 teaspoon
  • cumin- 1/2 teaspoon
  • turmeric (you can omit it, if you don’t want)
  • Dry roasted Peanuts: 2 teaspoon
  • Raisins: 1 teaspoon
  • Green peas/ beans (as per choice)
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Wash urad dal, chana dal, raisins and soak it in some water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Take a pan or kadai, when it’s heated up, add little ghee or oil (very little) and add the semiya on it. Keep stirring the semiya untill it becomes light brown. Once the colour changes, take them off the pan and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan, add little more oil, and keeping the flame at medium-low, add mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds are popping add the soaked dals, fry them for few seconds, then add the onions & carrots and turmeric. Stir for 2-3 minutes till they soften, add the green chilies, raisins and semiya. Cook them for about a minute.
  4. Then add little more than 1/2 cup of water in the pan(The water should cover the semiya, don’t put a lot of water). Raise the flame once the water comes to boil, again bring the flame to low and add salt & pepper. cover the pan for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. After this check the semiya, the water in the pan should get absorbed by the semiya and it will become soft enough to eat. In-case the semiya isn’t cooked yet (which should not be the case) add little more warm water (if you put cold water at this time, the dish will lose it’s flavour) to the pan and cover it for few more minutes.
  6. Once the Upma is ready, sprinkle the peanuts and mix it well with the upma and it’s ready to serve.

It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare and it’s good to your health, taste-buds and surely for your cosy mosey evenings.

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