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Vermicelli Upma

| March 19, 2013 Comment

This vermicelli upma recipe is easy. Made with wheat or rice flour, vermicelli (semiya, sevai) or pasta is used in many Indian breakfast and lunch recipes.

This is a South Indian vegetarian/vegan recipe and a great example of how you can have a tasty and filling dish with just a few ingredients. Great for cold, chilly mornings!

If you don’t have Indian vermicelli (like MTR or Savorit brand), you can use spaghetti or angel-hair pasta. Break up the long pasta into half-inch pieces for upma. You may want to check the ingredients before buying to make sure it’s an egg-free product.

Servings: 4
Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups vermicelli (MTR semiya or other brand, pasta)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 green chillies, finely chopped
  • Ginger, a small piece (optional), chopped
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste

For Seasoning

  • 7-8 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp chana dal (bengal gram) or urad dal (black gram)
  • 7-8 cashew nuts
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds


  1. If you’re using long (angel hair) pasta or vermicelli, cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. Roast the vermicelli or pasta in 2 tsp of oil for a couple of minutes, until brown. This prevents the upma from becoming sticky. You can skip this step, if you like.
  2. Heat oil in a shallow pan, and the urad or chana dal, and add mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, add the cashew nuts and fry for a minute, then add green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, and onions.
  3. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent.
  4. Add the water, and cover. When the water comes to a boil, add the vermicelli.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another minute until all the water evaporates.
  6. Serve the vermicelli upma hot either plain or with chutney powder or mango pickle or lime pickle or any other.


Add potatoes, peas, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants or any vegetables of your choice. Use cilantro (coriander) leaves, instead of curry leaves for a different taste.

Make it plain without onions, and the add freshly grated coconut and sprinkle some mixed-dal (idli) chutney powder.

Category: Vegan Breakfast Recipes, Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes, Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes - No-Onion No-Garlic

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