Semiya upma or vermicelli upma recipe – Popular South Indian breakfast made with vermicelli. Semiya is a south Indian term that refers to vermicelli and is known as shavige in kannda & seviyan in hindi. UPMA is a one pot breakfast dish made with tempering ingredients. It can be made of rava, vermicelli, poha, sabudana, oats or millets.
Semiya upma is a upma variety made much similar to the basic rava upma with the same set of ingredients. This post shows how to make perfect semiya upma that doesn’t turn sticky or mushy.
To make this semiya upma, I have used bambino unroasted semiya. Any variety of semiya can be used. If you are using roasted semiya, then skip the roasting step mentioned in the recipe.
The quantity of water to use differs for thick and thin variety vermicelli (details included below).
I have shared 2 methods of making semiya upma recipe – with and without using vegetables. Vegetable semiya can also be eaten for lunch or dinner when you are short of time.
It is nutritious and filling too. You can find the one with vegetables towards the second half of this post.
Making semiya upma is really quick and involves no prior preparation except for slicing the onion & ginger. To make the vegetable semiya, if you are running short of time then use frozen mix veggies like carrots, beans & peas.
Semiya upma recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for semiya upma
- 1 cup semiya or vermicelli
- 1½ cups water for thick semiya or 1 cup for thin variety
- salt as needed
- 1 small onion thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 green chili slit or chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon ginger chopped finely (optional)
Tempering ingredients for semiya upma
- 1 ½ tablespoon oil or ghee
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin or jeera
- ½ tablespoon channa dal or split bengal gram (optional)
- ½ tablespoon urad dal or skinned black gram (optional)
- 2 to 3 tablespoon peanuts or cashews skip if using peas
- 1 pinch asafoetida or hing
- ¾ cup mix vegetables carrot, peas, beans – chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
How to make the recipe
Roasting semiya for semiya upma recipe
- If using roasted vermicelli, then skip this step.
- Dry roast semiya uniformly on a medium flame until lightly golden.
- Keep stirring and fry without browning them.
- They will turn light when done. Transfer to a plate.
Tempering for semiya upma
- Pour oil to a pan.
- When the oil turns hot add mustard, cumin, chana dal, urad dal and peanuts.
- You can skip peanuts if you are using green peas.
- Fry until the peanuts turn golden and roasted well.
- Add hing. Next add onions, ginger, chilli and curry leaves.
- Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes until the onions turn transparent.
- This step is optional. If using carrot, beans and peas add them now and saute for another 3 mins.
- Cook covered on a low flame till they turn slightly tender.
How to make semiya upma
- Pour water and add salt.
- Stir and check by tasting the water.
- It has to be slightly salty. If needed add more salt.
- Bring it to a rapid boil.
- Transfer roasted semiya to the pan or pot.
- Stir immediately to prevent lumps.
- Cook on a medium high flame till the vermicelli is cooked well.
- By then the water evaporates.
- Then if desired you can sprinkle grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves. Turn off the stove.
- Cover the pan and set aside for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Leave the pan open to cool a bit and fluff up.
- Let the temperature come down before you serve.
- Semiya upma can be served with podi, pickle or seasoned curd.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Method 1 – step by step semiya upma
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, cumin, urad dal, chana dal and peanuts. When the peanuts get roasted well and turn golden, sprinkle hing. I have not used ginger, if you like it add it now.
2. Add thinly sliced onions, green chili and curry leaves. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add unroasted semiya.
4. On a low to medium flame, roast them well until lightly golden. If vermicelli is not roasted well, upma turns sticky. Do not burn. Keep stirring.
5. While the vermicelli gets roasted, heat 1 ¾ cups water in a separate pot. Add salt and taste it. It should be slightly salty. Bring this to a boil. You can do it on the stove or in a microwave.
6. Pour the hot water to the vermicelli and then stir immediately to prevent lumps.
7. Cook on a medium high flame without covering till the entire moisture is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
8. Cover the pan and Switch off the stove. Leave it aside for 3 to 4 minutes.
9. Lastly, I like to add lemon juice, grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves to the vermicelli upma. This is optional. Allow semiya upma to cool down a bit and then fluff up.
Serve semiya upma with pickle or podi.
Method 2 – vegetable semiya upma recipe with step by step photos
This method of making vermicelli upma though takes 5 to 7 minutes more to prepare than the first method. This is healthy one since veggies are included and can be packed for the lunch box.
1. Dry roast 1 cup vermicelli on a medium flame until they turn slightly golden. Transfer this to a plate.
2. Pour oil to a hot pan. Add half tsp cumin, half tsp mustard, half tbsp each of chana and urad dal. Fry until the dal turns lightly golden. Dals can be skipped.
3. Add curry leaves and green chili as desired.
4. Next add 3/4 to 1 cup finely chopped vegetables and then saute for 2 to 3 minutes. I use carrots, onion, beans and green peas.
5. Cover and cook on a low flame till they turn tender and almost cooked.
6. Add salt and stir.
7. Pour 1 ¾ cups water. Next stir and taste the water. It has to be slightly salty. Bring it to a rolling boil on a high flame. If using thin vermicelli 1 ¼ cup water would be sufficient.
8. Add the roasted vermicelli. Stir well to prevent lumps.
9. Cook on a medium high flame till all the water is absorbed.
10. Switch off the stove and then cover the pan with a lid. Allow to rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
Semiya upma is ready. Lastly fluff up with a fork and serve. If desired you can add little lemon juice.