Upma is such a healthy and delicious South Indian dish. We love to eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is very easy to prepare. This particular dish is made with roasted semolina noodles and it’s spiced with ginger, onions and veggies and garnished with coconut and peanuts. It is truly a vegan delight!
Vermicelli is a very thin type of noodles widely used in asian countries. It is made with either rice or semolina.This is a pantry staple in our kitchen. It is also called Semiya/ Seviyan in India. You can buy them as whole, broken, roasted or plain. I prefer the broken version since its easy to cook and eat. The roasted vermicelli gets a brown color once it’s cooked so I buy the plain noodles and roast it myself.
There are thousand different ways to make vermicelli Upma. This is the authentic way it’s made in south India.
- Vermicelli/ semiya – 1 cup
- Onion – 1 (sliced)
- Carrot – 1 finely diced
- Peas – 1/4 cup
- Ginger – 1/2 inch piece (finely chopped)
- Green chili – 2 (slit) or red chili flakes – 1 teaspoon
- Asafetida – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
- Water – 1 1/2 cups
- Salt – 2 teaspoons
- Curry leaves – few
- Black Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
- Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Butter or Ghee for roasting – 2 teaspoons
- Grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
- Roasted peanuts – 1 tablespoon (plain or spiced)
This recipe Serves 2, just double up the measurements if you are making more.
* I cup vermicelli = 1 1/2 cups water
- Prep all the veggies and keep it ready.
- Heat the pan, Add a slice of butter and slightly toast the vermicelli.
- Roasting gives a nice aroma to the dish.
- The coating of butter actually prevents them from sticking together while its cooking.
- Keep the heat on low, and make sure you keep an eye on it otherwise it will burn so quickly.
- Once it gets a light brown color immediately put it on a tray and let it cool.
- Take a broad pan, heat oil, add all the veggies and sauté them until the onions get soft
- I have used shallots since it gives a wonderful taste, you can also use regular onion.
- Now add the green chilies and ginger and quickly sauté it for a second.
- Instead of green chilies you can use red chili flakes
- Add the asafetida and mix it well. ( it’s optional, leave it out if you don’t like the aroma)
- Add exactly 11/2 cups of water, salt and mix it well.
- Close it with a lid and let it come to a boil.
- Now bring the heat to low and add the roasted vermicelli and mix it well.
- Make sure you Keep the flame on low, tightly cover it with a lid, the steam helps it cook perfectly.
- It cooks very quickly, so after a couple of minutes open the lid and see if the water is all absorbed.
- Fluff it up with a fork.
- Switch off the stove
- keep it in the pan so that it stays warm until you serve it.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, once it pops take it off the heat and add the curry leaves.
- Pour this on top of the prepared Upma/ noodles and mix it well.
- This is a traditional southindian seasoning
- You can also use fennel seeds and bay leaves for a change of taste instead of mustard and curry leaves.
Vermicelli Upma is ready, it tastes so good as it is. But none of my dishes go to the table without being garnished. It makes it so appetizing!
So I Just sprinkled a little bit of freshly grated coconut and some roasted peanuts, Its so appealing and adds an extra layer of crunch to this soft noodles. I happened to have some chili lime peanuts, oh my, it just took this dish to the next level.
There you go! A very unique noodle dish which is healthy and yummy. This is a lunch box special in my household. The toothsome noodles, the crunchy veggies, the aroma of ginger and chilies and the tasty toppings makes this dish unbelievably delicious! Enjoy !!!