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Semiya Upma

- submitted by Dahlia on 11-28-2008 
(Seviya Upma, Vermicelli Upma, Semiya Uppittu)
Semiya (Vermicelli Pasta) - 1.5 cup
Water - 1 3/4 cup
Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
Salt - as needed
For Tempering
Oil/ Ghee - 2 tsp
Dry Red Chilly - 2 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Channa dal - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Cashew nuts -  1 tblsp 
Curry Leaves - 1 strand
1. Roast the semiya in a tsp of oil/ ghee till it turns golden brown and keep aside. You could also buy roasted semiya from the store to save time.
2. Heat oil/ghee in a kadai and splutter the mustard seeds. Fry the channa dal, urad dal, cashew nuts, dry red chillies and curry leaves till it becomes golden brown. 
3. Add the onions and saute on a low flame just till it sweats.
4. Now add the exact amount of water specified, add salt to the water and bring it to a boil.
5. Add the roasted semiya, mix everything and reduce the flame to the lowest setting. Cover with a lid and let the semiya cook undisturbed for 5 minutes till all the water is absorbed.
6. Switch off and gently toss with a spoon or fork to seperate each string. Serve with coconut chutney or any other chutney or pickle.
         - After sauteing the onions, add some grated coconut and then make the semiya upma as above. This Coconut Semiya Upma has a nice nutty taste.
         - Another variation is tangy Raw Mango Semiya Upma. Saute grated raw mango after you saute the onions and proceed as above.
         - Yet another interesting variation is Lemon Semiya. To make this, prepare the semiya upma as above and add 1 tblsp of lemon juice at the end. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder to the water while cooking the semiya to give it a bright colour.
         - Finally, you can also make the upma more nutritious by cooking mixed vegetables along with the semiya. This is called Semiya Biriyani.