Vermicelli upma, also known as Seviyan upma is Indian-style vermicelli loaded with vegetables and flavored with Indian spices. It's a quick and easy vegan recipe that can be served for any meal of the day.
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Vermicelli which is called seviyan or semiyan in Hindi is mainly used to make desserts in India like seviyan ki kheer. However, it is also used to make some savory dishes like Vermicelli upma.
The savory form of vermicelli is known by different names in North and South India and their way of making it is also slightly different.
In South, this dish is called Vermicelli upma or Seviyan upma but in North, people also call it namkeen jave. The spices used to flavor them also differ slightly.
Having lived in every region of India, I have tried all the versions and picked up the flavors that I prefer. The recipe that I am sharing here is a fusion of different versions of Indian-style vermicelli.
What goes into Vermicelli upma?
To make Vermicelli upma, the following ingredients will be required.
- Vermicelli: To make this recipe, use vermicelli that's thick and short like this roasted one. Try buying the vermicelli that's already roasted, it will save your time and the shelf life of roasted vermicelli will also be longer. Don't use thin Asian rice vermicelli in this recipe.
- Vegetables: Generally, green peas, French beans, carrots, cauliflower, and potatoes are used in vermicelli upma. You can also add other vegetables of your choice.
- Curry leaves: Fresh, dried, or frozen all are fine. Skip the leaves if you couldn't find them. It's generally used only in the South Indian version of this dish, in North India, it's made without curry leaves too.
- Peanuts: Instead of peanuts, roughly chopped cashew nuts can also be used.
- Mustard seeds: You may replace mustard seeds with cumin seeds or add both too.
- Carom seeds: Also known as ajwain in Hindi, this is my favorite spice to make Indian style vermicelli. It has a very punget taste and when cooked with vermicelli it tastes like oregano. Carom seeds are generally used in North Indian style vermicelli not in South Indian version but I would highly recommend adding it.
How to make Indian style vermicelli?
To make vermicelli upma, follow the steps below:
Roast vermicelli: If your vermicelli is not pre-roasted, dry roast it on medium flame until it turns golden brown. If you have bought roasted vermicelli, skip this step.
Prepare masala: Heat oil in a pan and add peanuts. Once the peanuts start changing color add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Saute for a few seconds and then add carom seeds. Carom seeds burn very fast so just saute for a few seconds and then quickly add chopped onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
Next, add tomato, green chili, salt, pepper, and red chili powder. Mix everything and cook until the tomatoes turn soft.
Once the tomatoes are cooked add chopped vegetables and cover the pan. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. You may also add 2-3 tablespoons of water to cook the vegetables faster.
When the vegetables are cooked, add roasted vermicelli, mix, and cook it in the masala for a minute before adding water. After adding water, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
Once done, switch off the stove and don't remove the lid for at least 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, remove the lid and fluff vermicelli with a fork.
Add fresh lime juice and cilantro. Enjoy!
Step by step photo instructions
In India, Seviyan upma is generally served for breakfast. But it can also be enjoyed as a lunch or dinner.
How to store?
You can store the leftover in an air-tight container and refrigerate it for 2-3 days.
It freezes well too and if frozen remains fine for 3-4 months. When you want to eat, reheat in the microwave for a few minutes. To re-heat using a stove, put the frozen vermicelli upma in a pan, add a few tablespoons of boiling water, cover the pan and cook on a medium flame for a few minutes.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Roast vermicelli on medium flame and keep on stirring in between.
- Don't add too much water otherwise the vermicelli will turn too soft and mushy.
- For more flavour, vegatable stock can be also be used instead of water.
- Cut the vegetables into small equal pieces as the size of Indian vermicelli is also small.
- For a heathier version, use vermicelli made with whole wheat flour or semolina.
Frequently asked questions
You will find a huge range of Vermicelli in the market and they all are made with different ingredients like all-purpose flour(maida), whole wheat flour, semolina, rice, finger millet, etc.
For this recipe, I prefer using the one made with whole wheat flour or semolina.
Though some people do that you don't get the right texture if roasting vermicelli is skipped as the unroasted vermicelli turns soft and mushy on getting cooked.
No, don't use rice vermicelli in this recipe. It's too thin and delicate for this dish also the taste will be quite different.
Generally, for 1 cup of roasted vermicelli, I add 1 cup of water and then cook the vermicelli covered on low flame. However, since I have also used a cup of vegetables in this recipe, I have added another cup of water to the dish.
Also, the amount of water slightly varies depending upon the quality of vermicelli.
If you feel that the water has dried up but your vermicelli is not cooked properly, add some more boiling water to the pot and cook further.
More easy Indian breakfast recipes
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- Cooking pot/ wok
- 2 cups vermicelli short Indian/ Mexican vermicelli
- 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables like carrots, French peans, green peans
- 1 medium-sized red onion finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized tomato finely chopped
- 1-2 green chilies finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Juice of ½ a lime adjust to taste
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons raw peanuts
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil/ olive oil
- 3 cups water
- Heat a pan and add vermicelli to it. Dry roast until the vermicelli turns golden brown. Keep on stirring in between to avoid burning.
- In a pot heat some oil and add peanuts. Saute for about 2 minutes or until the peanuts turn crunchy.
- Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds or until the curry leaves turn fragrant.
- Add carom seeds and saute for around 10 seconds and then add chopped onion.
- Cook the onion until it becomes translucent.
- Add tomato, green chili, salt, pepper, and red chili powder. Cook until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
- Next, add the vegetables. Mix everything. Cover the pan and cook for around 6-7 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.
- Add roasted vermicelli mix and cook with vegetables for about a minute before adding water. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame.
- After 10 minutes, switch off the stove and don't remove the lid for at least 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, remove the lid and fluff vermicelli with a fork.
- Add chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix. Enjoy!
- Don't add too much water otherwise, the vermicelli will turn soft and mushy.
- Feel free to add more vegetables and other ingredients like sweet corn, mushrooms, etc in the recipe.
- Roasted vermicelli is easily available in the market these days, buy them to fasten the process.
- More recipe tips and tricks are given in the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.