Roasted Vermicelli

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.

For my readers who are new to using Vermicelli in their everyday cooking, Vermicelli comes in 2 forms: Roasted and Unroasted.

They look like this:

Notice that the unroasted vermicelli is white, while the roasted one is brown. You can use them in different recipes as per your preference. For today’s recipe, i.e. Semiya Upma, I shall explain the usage of both the roasted and the unroasted vermicelli.

I make Semiya upma in 2 ways. The method I use depends on the Vermicelli I have in my kitchen. If I have roasted vermicelli, I use Method 1, in which I cook both the vegetables and vermicelli together. If I have unroasted vermicelli, I use Method 2, in which I cook the vegetables and the vermicelli separately and then combine them. Let’s see both the methods. So, let’s start:

About Ingredient sourcing in Germany:

The Indian ingredients needed for this recipe can be easily sourced from an Indian store near you. You can even buy them from the online store of Spiceland, FrankfurtTheir quality is good, prices reasonable and they deliver all across Germany.

You can check my GERMAN SUPERMARKETS page to understand different products in supermarkets in Germany.

Equipment Needed:

Method 1: Semiya Upma with roasted Vermicelli

Ingredients needed :

  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 chillies: 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


  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 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

Method 2: Semiya Upma with unroasted Vermicelli

Ingredients needed:

  1. Unroasted Semiya ( Vermicelli): 3 Cups
  2. Sunflower/groundnut oil: 2 tablespoons
  3. Chana Dal: 1 teaspoon
  4. Urad Dal ( Split Black gram, Skin removed): 1 teaspoon
  5. Cashews: 8-10
  6. Curry leaves: 8-10
  7. Asafoetida: 1/4 teaspoon
  8. Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  9. Green chillies: 3-4
  10. Dry Red Chilies: 2-3
  11. Finely chopped ginger: 1 tablespoon
  12. Beans : 1/2 cup
  13. Grated Carrot: 1/2 Cup
  14. Turmeric Powder: 1/3 teaspoon (optional)
  15. Finely chopped onion: 1 medium-sized
  16. Lemon Juice: From 1/2 a lemon
  17. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  18. Salt: 1.5 teaspoon
  19. Water: for boiling the vermicelli
  20. Fresh Coriander leaves: 2 tablespoons
  21. Grated coconut: for garnishing (optional)


  1. Fill a cooking pot with sufficient water. Bring it to a boil. When the water starts bubbling, add the unroasted vermicelli and cook it till it is fully done. Remove the excess water using a strainer. If you want the vermicelli yellow, add turmeric powder to the water.

  2. In a pan, heat oil. Add chana dal, Urad dal and cashews. Fry them on medium heat.

  3. Add chopped ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, dry red chillies and asafoetida. Fry on medium heat for a few seconds.

  4. Now add onion and fry till they turn translucent.

  5. Add beans and carrots. Lower the heat. Cover and cook till they are fully done.

  6. Now add the strained vermicelli.

  7. Add salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

  8. Serve as is or with pickle or chutney.

Some additional notes:

  1. You can use roasted vermicelli in Method 2, but don’t use unroasted vermicelli in Method 1. The vermicelli will become sticky and lumpy. If you have unroasted vermicelli and want to use Method 1, roast it in a pan on medium heat before using it for the recipe.
  2. I have used peanuts in Method 1 and cashews in Method 2 in the recipe. 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. 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.
  5. In method 2, where vermicelli is boiled separately, you will notice that if you leave the vermicelli in the strainer for some time, it becomes sticky. If you put this in the pan with cooked vegetables, you will get a lump and the vermicelli strands will be difficult to separate. There are two ways to solve this problem. Either, time your cooking in such a way that when your vegetables in a pan are cooked, just at that time, the vermicelli gets cooked. That way, you can strain the vermicelli and immediately add it to the cooked vegetables. OR, if your boiled vermicelli is lying in a strainer for a few minutes and has become sticky, run tap water over it. That will separate the strands. Strain the water completely and add to the cooked vegetables.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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