Monday, November 24, 2014



Upma is an easy to make breakfast item very popular in South India. Generally, it is made of sooji/rava. It can be made plain or you can make it with assorted vegetables as you can see in this recipe for Vegetable Upma. 

Another variation of upma is to make this out of wheat vermicelli ( which is a spaghetti-like pasta) which is called Seviya in Hindi, Shevige in Kannada and Semiya in Tamil. I have used store bought vermicelli of the MTR brand.

In today's upma, I have added only green peas but you can add beans, carrots and the like. To save time, I have used frozen peas but if you use fresh green peas, you would need to shell and cook them.

The consistency of the upma is a matter of individual taste, and is determined by the quantity of water used. Some people prefer their upma to be more soft, while others like it less soggy.  I have always preferred to use a ratio of  3/4  measure of water to 1 measure of vermicelli to give it the consistency preferred in my family.

  • Wheat Vermicelli, 3 cups
  • Mustard Seeds, 3/4 tsp
  • Chana Dal, (Bengal Gram),1 tbsp
  • Green Chillies, 5-6
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Onion, chopped, 1
  • Ginger, finely chopped, 1/2 " piece
  • Green Peas, 1/2 cup * I used frozen peas
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Water, 2 and 1/4 cups
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Lime juice ( of 1 lime)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp

Chop the onion, slit the green chillies,
Shell and cook the green peas. (if using fresh peas and not frozen ones). Keep aside
Boil the water and keep it aside
In a kadhai, add a  little oil, roast the vermicelli till it turns slightly golden brown, stir constantly to ensure it does not get burnt. Transfer the roasted vermicelli to a bowl.
In the same kadhai, add oil and once it gets heated, add mustard seeds 
When they splutter, add the chana dal, 
When the dal changes colour, add the slit green chillies and curry leaves
Saute for a while and then add the chopped onion and ginger
Fry till the onion becomes translucent
Add the green peas and saute for a minute
Now add the turmeric powder, and salt.
Add the water which you have boiled and kept aside, lower the flame  and add the roasted vermicelli 
Keep it covered and cook for 4-5 minutes or till it is done, stirring it in between 
Lastly, add the finely chopped coriander leaves and lime juice
Serve hot.

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