01 December, 2008

Semiya Upma: Most loved Tiffin item

Semiya/Vermicelli Upma
What would you like to have for breakfast?
~Without blinking~ Maggi…

Anything particular you want for dinner?
~Eagerly~ Yes, Maggi please!

What does my special girl wants for her birthday meal?
~Clapping hands happily~ I want Maggi Amma.

There are not many vegetables for curry today. I am wondering what to cook for Sunday lunch!
~Screaming~ How about Maggi?

What should I cook for…?
~Jumping up and down and screaming at top of my voice~ Maggi, Maggi, Maggi….
Well, that’s how much I loved (still love) Maggi Noodle. Be it morning or evening or night, be it Sunday or Monday or Friday, and be it some special days or bad days or festival days. All I wanted to have was bowlful of Maggi noodles with good helping of Tomato ketchup. Then one day unimaginable thing happened at home.

It all happened many years ago and I still remember that particular day in July. I was at school and the last period we had on that particular day was boring class on Geography. I was happily dozing in the corner bench and was suddenly awakened by the heavy thunders and screeching school bell. And then it started raining heavily; you know the typical Monsoon rains. Rubbing my eyes and yawning I came out of school building and got into the waiting school bus to take me back home with my sister and friends. While the heavy drops of rains lashed the bus windows I imagined reaching home in few minutes and my Amma waiting for us with large umbrella near door. I was all eager to get home and sit in my high wooden stool in warm kitchen and eat big bowl of Maggi noodles with Tomato Ketchup as I had told my Amma that morning I wanted Maggi Noodles when I got back from school. Just few more minutes of wait…

Everything was same as I imagined it to be. Amma was waiting for us near large cast iron gates. And she was indeed holding big umbrella for us. The kitchen smelt heavenly from the aroma of something delicious wafting from big Kadai on gas burner. And yes, Amma had indeed prepared Noodles for us. Eagerly I reached out for my bowl of delicious Maggi Noodles… But… But… But…

There was something really wrong with the Maggi Noodles that Amma had made for us. These noodles were pearly white with specks of gold and were studded with jewel like vegetables. There were carrots that looked like corals and peas and beans which just resembled beautiful glittering emeralds. While tomatoes looked like red rubies, mustard seeds glowed like black pearls. That was not definitely my favourite yellow Maggi Noodles. My yellow Maggi Noodles were definitely missing…

After little bit of dissecting, poking, twisting and turning around I tasted a spoonful of this special noodles. Mmm… They tasted fine… Took another spoonful… Mmm… It tasted little better… Yet another spoonful of noodles… And I was hooked… That’s how I fell hard for Semiya Upma or Vermicelli Upma.

Semiya Upma is usually served as breakfast or Tiffin in South India. For all those who are wondering what Tiffin is, it is in-between-meals snacks served at most homes in India. I usually make this during weekends for lazy brunches or serve as dinner. Addition of mixed vegetables makes it a wholesome and delicious meal. If you are too lazy or not very fond of vegetables, all you have to do is just skip them. Add little bit of Garam Masala if you want it to be little spicier. I usually like mine simple, without many over-powering spices. While chopped onions add nice crunch and sweetness, tomatoes and lime juice gives is a tangy note. Green chillies and ginger are the basic ingredients that give mild spicy note to this dish. Mixed vegetables not only add more flavour and nutrition, it also adds lot of colour to otherwise plain vermicelli. I usually roast vermicelli in little ghee till golden as ghee gives wonderful aroma and flavour to this dish. If you are too health conscious then skip ghee and add any vegetable or sunflower oil. But please restrain from using strong flavoured oil, especially Olive oil as it will simply spoil the taste. So shall we proceed to today’s recipe of Semiya Upma?

Roasted Vermicelli and Vegetables for Upma

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Semiya Upma (Rice Vermicelli/Noodles cooked with Vegetables and flavoured with tempering of Spices)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-5
Recipe Source: Amma
2 cups Vermicelli (I used MTR Vermicelli)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium Carrot, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
6-8 French Beans, trimmed and cut into 1 cm pieces
¼ cup Green Peas (I used frozen)
2-3 Green Chillies, slit (Adjust acc to taste)
¾ inch Ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2-3 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp Sugar (Optional but recommended)
1-2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
½ tbsp Ghee or Oil
Salt to taste

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp Channa Dal/Split Chickpeas
½ tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Lentils
1-2 Dry Red Chilli, halved
2 strings Curry Leaves
10-12 Cashew Nuts or 2 tbsp Roasted Unsalted Peanuts (Optional), roasted to golden in little oil or ghee
1 tbsp Oil or Ghee
Semiya/Vermicelli Upma

Heat ½ tbsp of Oil or Ghee in a pan and add Vermicelli to it. Roast this vermicelli on medium to low heat till it turns light golden brown in colour, about 3-4 minutes. Let it cool.
Bring about 3-4 cups of water to boil and add little salt to it. Now add roasted vermicelli and let it cook uncovered till it is cooked through. Add more water if needed. It takes around 4-6 minutes to cook all the vermicelli. Drain water using a colander and keep it aside until it’s needed.
Heat tbsp of oil or ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When it starts to pop and splutter, add channa dal, urad dal, halved red chillies and curry leaves. Sauté till lentils turn golden, about 1 minute.
Now add finely chopped onion, slit green chillies and ginger. Sauté till onion turns light golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and cook till they turn pulpy and release their juice, about 2 minutes.
Add sugar, carrots, beans and green peas and cook covered for 2-3 minutes till vegetables turn tender.
Mix in cooked vermicelli, finely chopped coriander leaves, roasted cashews and lime juice. Adjust the salt and cook for another 2 minutes for all the flavours to blend well. Serve hot with any chutney or pickle and a dollop of chilled yogurt, the way I like it.

On other note I am taking break from blogging. Yes, you guessed it right. I am in India, enjoying both sun and sea in my native. :) I might post in between but can’t promise anything at this time. So have fun friends….

Chao… Till we meet again


  1. I use dto love maggi noodles and still love them. I sometimes make them by 11 in the evening while watching tv, if i want to have a fast snack.
    Love semiya upma, i have not seen here this semiya till now i have only seen the brown one, which i don't like.

  2. looks delicious Sia. Now your upma is making me hungry..

  3. Wow! This looks great! I've been following your blog for a while now, but I've never posted a comment. Your pictures are absolute torture for something you hasn't had breakfast yet! And I mean that as a compliment!!!

  4. This sounds absolutely delish. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Lovely post as usual.I too am hooked to Maggi but also to this.I love it.Very good for breakfast or anytime for me.
    Hve a nicetime in India.Meanwhile I am making,reading this recipe has got me hungry.

  6. Hi Sia, the upma does look yummy with all the veggies. Here is wishing you fun and enjoy each and every moment in India.

  7. Looks divine this breakfast, I love vermicelli more than rava!

  8. Enjoy your holiday :-)..we are freezing here :-(

  9. Have a great time in India. I love this version of upma too .. Happy vacation

  10. Wow with those little and healthy delicacies veggie studded Upma looks gr8.

  11. hey sia.. this is nice one.. layka kantu.. Njoy ur trip to India..

  12. Hi sia,
    Shavige uppittu looks good, i am not a big fan of upmas, one in while like to have sevegi upma with lots of coconut chutney.

  13. Sia, How interesting article. I love Upmas as they are filling and nutritious. Love the cut carrots. Wonderful clicks.

  14. enjoy ur break and come back with yummy posts,...:-)enjoyed readin ur post as always,...tc.///

  15. It is such a nice and simple everyday dish, but trust you to make that looks fabulous!
    I love semiya upma with sugar :)

  16. Your Maggi love affair sounds susupiciously like my daughter's recent love for the same.

    She doesn't particularly like uppuma but semiya uupuma is fine by her too.

    Me, I love any uppuma. Lovely to eat and easy to make.
    Enjoy your holiday in India. Best wishes for the festive season.

  17. You should seriously consider writing kiddie tales - you'd be the next enid blyton!:) Love that carrot carving on the upma. Enjoy your vacations!

  18. hehe..... ain't our mothers smart! ;)

  19. Sia,
    My Little one is just so fond of Maggi ,this one she would love it, packed with all the good ness of vegetables...
    enjoy your holidays here ...
    hugs and smiles

  20. Enjoy the sunshine honey. Your Maggie story made me giggle. I had a similar problem with the stuff...

  21. Wow.. upma looks delicious.. Loved the story of your maggi noodles.. I bet your mom must have been worried!! But anyways I guess its just a pahse.. your pic of upma is awesome!

  22. I simply love the way you write!! Two of my fav hobbies are cooking and reading, and when I browse through your blog, I feel like I am enjoying both the hobbies at the same time:)
    keep up the good work and have fun in India!!!

  23. enjoy your holiday sia....i too love all things that look like noodles/ spaghetti/vermicelli....vermicelli upma is so versatile, blending itself depending on your mood, or the stock in the fridge!! your's looks great!!

  24. I switched from Maggi long back to Ramen noodles - nothing like a bowl of soupy Top Ramen noodles with its wonderful curry or masala flavour!

    The semiya upma on the other hand has become a favourite - didn't like it one bit when I was a child, but now with veggies (especially peas) its quite a good breakfast option.

    Your pic looks so inviting :)


  25. Hey, Sia yummy semiya upma picture.. My mom makes the same way..
    U in Mangalore, great.. must be having lot of fun ha.. enjoy ur break.. have fun..
    Were ru in mangl ??

  26. Beautiful semiya upma, Sia! Have a wonderful vacation and see you when you get back, dear. :)

  27. Hi Sia, your post reminded me of how much I loved maggi noodles and still do. Now, I do the same thing to my daughter, give her semiya with grated carrots and potatoes and whatever other veggies I can add, and called it semiya noodles.:-) She loves it, and the days I send semiya noodles for her in the tiffin, it is emptied, else the tiffin comes back half eaten. Lovely post, and awesome pic as usual. Happy holidays! please do collect the award I have passed on to you at my blog when you are back.Missing your posts...

  28. Sia, I remember maggi noodles so well- and semiya upma which was a truly delicious treat. Your version looks gorgeous as well.

  29. Enjoy your vacation and have fun, Sia. Blogging can always wait, and so can we :)

  30. I've only ever had vermicelli in sweet dishes never in savoury. I'll try this.

  31. oh, I love maggi too!!!!!! I always have a pack of it in my pantry....

    but uppittu was something i hated, as a kid.... both rave and vermicelli. but, since the time i started cooking I have somehow developed a liking towards it!!!

    lovely pictures, as always :) And how r u doing, btw? long time....

  32. Love semiya upma! lovely post! and enjoy every minute of the sun and sea.

  33. Maggi noodles are good. Love them very much. Thks for the nice recipe

  34. Enjoy your vacation Sia...love your story of maggi...the pic looks great...especially the carrots..

  35. just tried the upma...turned out GREAT!! thanks so much...
    Ive never made it myself am so happy i did!

  36. hey just tried out this recipe..came out really well..thanks a ton!


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