Recipe for Semiya Upma

Recipe for Semiya Upma

Semiya Upma is a quick and easy breakfast recipe from India. In this recipe, Semiya ( vermicelli) and a couple of seasonal vegetables are cooked with mild spices and eaten with Chutney or Sambar. It can be made in under 30 minutes and makes for a healthy and nutritious breakfast. So, let’s start with the recipe:

Ingredients needed to make Semiya Upma:

  1. Roasted Semiya ( Vermicelli): 2 Cups
  2. Sunflower/groundnut oil: 2 tablespoons
  3. Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  4. Urad Dal ( Split Black gram, Skin removed): 1 teaspoon
  5. Curry leaves: 8-10
  6. Asafoetida: 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Green chilies: 3-4
  8. Dry Red Chilies: 2-3
  9. Peanuts: 15-18
  10. Finely chopped ginger: 1 tablespoon
  11. Peas: 1/2 cup
  12. Finely chopped Carrots: 2
  13. Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  14. Finely chopped onion: 1 medium-sized
  15. Finely chopped Tomato: 1/2 medium-sized
  16. Lemon Juice: From 1/2 a lemon
  17. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  18. Salt: 1.5 teaspoon
  19. Water: 3 cups
  20. Fresh Coriander leaves: 2 tablespoons
  21. Grated coconut: for garnishing

Method to make Semiya Upma:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. On low to medium heat, fry the peanuts till they become crunchy.


  2. Add urad dal (Split Black gram), cumin seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida, and fry on medium heat for 30 seconds.


  3. Add ginger, green, and red chilies, and fry for another 30 seconds on medium heat.


  4. Now add onions and fry till the onions turn translucent.


  5. Add turmeric powder, peas, and carrots. Add salt, lower the flame, cover with a lid and let the vegetables cook to about 80%.


  6. Add vermicelli. Give it a good mix.


  7. Add water, followed by tomatoes, sugar, one tablespoon of coriander leaves, and lemon juice.


  8. Cover with a lid and cook on high heat till the vermicelli is 90% done.
  9. Take off the heat and let it stay covered for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Now Semiya Upma is ready to be served. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and optionally with freshly grated coconut.

    Semiya Upma

Some additional notes:

  1. In this recipe, I have used roasted vermicelli. I have found the best results with it. However, if you plan to use the unroasted ones, make sure you roast them on low to medium heat before using them in the recipe.
  2. I have used peanuts in the recipe. You can even add cashews. If you wish to use both peanuts and cashews, first fry the peanuts, then add the cashews. Cashews fry faster; therefore, they need to be added later. Always fry nuts on low to medium heat.
  3. I have used only carrots and peas. However, you can add other vegetables too. The commonly added vegetables in Semiya Upma are carrots, beans, peas, and capsicum.
  4. If you don’t have freshly grated coconut for garnishing, you can skip it or add the dried ones.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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