Semiya Upma Recipe

Semiya Upma Recipe

Posted on Mar 28, 2024

Learn to Make Semiya Upma - An Ideal Start to Your Day

If you don't think that breakfast can be tasty, healthy, & quick, you need to try Semiya Upma! It's a satisfying and popular breakfast staple from South India that can be made within just half an hour. 

Semiya Upma is a savoury orchestra of vermicelli, fragrant spices, and crunchy dry fruits. Famous for its fast preparation and versatility, this aromatic, delightful staple will give a fresh start to your day. You can relish or enhance the dish with healthy and colourful vegetables. The South Indian dish stands apart in the diversified scenery of Indian breakfast for its light nature and easy digestion. 

Whether you're looking for a quick fix for breakfast or for a guest that's visiting unexpectedly, you can easily rely on semiya upma. Why? Because it'll be ready way before your conversation ends. So, ;et's dive straigh into the semiya upma recipe!

How To Make Semiya Upma at Home?

Do you know that you can make semiya upma in two variants? One without veggies and the other with vegetables. Cooking semiya upma with and without veggies is almost the same. We will mention both here!

Ingredients for Making Upma Vermicelli

Using the following measurements, you can make upma vermicelli for two people. It will take around 25 minutes.

Below are the ingredients you need to cook semiya upma.
• Semiya - 1 cup or 110 grams
• Water - 1 ½ cups for thick semiya and 1 cup for the thin variety
• Salt - 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
• Onion - 1 small or 3 to 4 tablespoons (thinly chopped or sliced)
• Slit or chopped green chilli - 1
• Curry leaves - 1 sprig
• Finely chopped ginger - ½ teaspoon

Ingredients for tampering semiya upma.
• Oil or ghee - 1 ½ tablespoon
• Mustard seeds - ½ tablespoon
• Cumin seeds - ½ tablespoon
• Channa dal (split Bengal gram) - 1 teaspoon (optional)
• Urad dal (skinned black gram) - 1 teaspoon (optional)
• Asafoetida (hing) - 1 pinch (optional)
• Peanuts or cashews (or both) - 2 to 3 tablespoons
• Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon (optional)
• If you are making the vegetable option:
• Finely chopped vegetables (carrot, peas, green beans, etc.) - 1 cup
• Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons
• Freshly grated coconut - 2 tablespoons (for garnish)

Seviyan Upma Recipe

Let’s break the recipe down into two parts!

Step 1: Preparing Vermicelli and Other Ingredients

It will take about 8 to 10 minutes.

If you are using packaged and pre-roasted vermicelli, you can skip this step. In any other case, place a pan on a gas stove. Add a few teaspoons of oil and three cups of vermicelli. Roast the vermicelli on a low or medium flame. Keep stirring until they are light and golden. After roasting, transfer the vermicelli to a plate.

Pour half a teaspoon of oil into the hot pan and add a handful of peanuts and cashews. Roast them on a medium flame until they are crunchy and golden.

Transfer them to a plate and keep them for garnishing.

Step 2: Tempering

In the same kadhai, add some more oil (if needed) and then add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, and chana dal. Stir until they are golden brown. Next, add the ginger, green chilli, onion, and curry leaves. Saute them until they turn fragrant.

Step 3: Cooking the Vegetables (Optional)

Add the washed and chopped vegetables after tampering with the spices and herbs if you want. Saute for a while and then put on a lid. When the vegetables are slightly tender, pour the water. Sprinkle some salt. 

Step 4: Add the Roasted Vermicelli

It is time to add the vermicelli and give a gentle mix. Refrain from overmixing, as the seviyan might get mashed. Cover the kadhai and let the mixture cook on low heat until the water is absorbed and the vermicelli is cooked. At this point, do a taste test and add salt if needed.

When the water is absorbed, check if the vermicelli is cooked properly. They need to be soft and fully cooked but not mushy. Switch off the gas stove and cover your kadhai for a few minutes (5-6 minutes). This step is necessary to make vermicelli fluffy.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Add chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut, squeeze lemon per your taste, and mix properly. Your semiya upma is ready!

If you are serving guests or your family members have different tastes, serve the upma and garnish in different bowls. They can add whatever they like and dig in!

A Secret Tip!
If you are worried about overcooking the vermicelli or adding insufficient or less water, you can cook the vermicelli beforehand. Boil the vermicelli as you would while cooking noodles at home. Cook the vegetables, too. Add both after the tampering. Stir well. Cook covered for a few minutes, garnish, and then serve.

Wrapping Up

Semiya upma is more than a dish; it celebrates simplicity and flavour. It epitomises the crux of South Indian cuisine in which each ingredient has a key role in curating a balanced combination. Whether it is a busy morning on a weekday or a leisurely brunch on a weekend, this aromatic South Indian delight fits well, pledging a nutritious and gratifying experience. The next time you think of a fast and healthy breakfast option, allow the delicious semiya upma to rescue you from your thoughts and satiate your taste buds.


1. How can you prevent semiya from getting sticky or lumpy?

Before boiling, roast the semiya until it turns golden brown. As mentioned in the ingredient list, use the right amount of water to cook the semiya properly.

2. Can you add different vegetables when cooking semiya upma?

Yes, you can add different vegetables when making semiya upma. Carrots, beans, peas, capsicum, beetroot, bell peppers, and corn make the dish more nutritious, delicious, and colourful. Finely chop and saute them properly.

3. Can I skip the peanuts?

Peanuts give the dish a crunch and are an important part of South Indian dishes. You can skip it, but they make the dish authentic.

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