Semiya Upma ~ Vermicelli Pasta

Last week started on a miserable note with the husband bringing home the flu and this week, I am carrying it forward. I have been skipping work on both the home and office fronts and P has been ruling the roost. Sometimes the kitchen takes on some undecipherable foreign aromas.  I have learnt better than to go and check out what’s burning, for fear of developing heart attack at the sight of the strewn kitchen.

This evening I was in serious need of something piping hot, solid food as I have got tired of broths and soups during these past few days. I did not want to spend much time in the kitchen so I made a quick semiya upma.

Semiya upma is a favourite with my daughter and son. It was the first pasta I came across before I read Garfield and realised that I had quite an appetite for the other types too. I am sure many of us know this from childhood but when I made it after my marriage at P’s house, it was the first time for my In-Laws. I hope you will like it as much as I do. It is good for rainy days and Mondays – my favourite Carpenters’ number. 🙂

Recipe : Semiya Upma ~ Vermicelli Pasta in an Indian Kitchen

Yield: Serves 3


Vermicelli pasta (I used Bambino) – 2.5 cups
Water – 3.25 cups
Onions, medium sized (chopped fine) – 2
Tomatoes, small (chopped rough) – 2
Potato, medium (Diced small) – 1


Oil – 2 tbsp.
Mustard seeds (rai) – 1 tsp.
Bengal gram dal (chana dal) – 1 tsp.
Cashew nuts (Kaju), chopped – 10 nos.
Green chilli, chopped fine – 1
Ginger, chopped fine – 1″
A spring of curry leaves – Torn


1/4 cup of coriander leaves – chopped rough


Roast the pasta in a wok in low heat till aromatic and lightly browned. I prefer to roast in the overn. Lay the pasta on a baking tray and roast in a pre-heated oven at 140 deg. Cel. for 7-10 minutes, stirring twice in between.

Heat oil in a wok. Season with mustard seeds followed by bengalgram, cashews, chilli, ginger and curry leaves.

When the cashews turn lightly golden, add onions and saute till pink. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt, stir and cover till the potatoes cook through.

Add water and cover till it comes to a boil. Add salt to taste (about 1 tsp. is enough and remember that you sprinkled some before!). Let simmer to 5 minutes and add the roasted pasta.

Cover and cook till water is absorbed and the pasta is cooked.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

You can increase the water and have as a stew too. In which case you may reduce the amount of pasta.

Substitute with whole wheat vermicelli if you want a healthier variety. You might want some green mint chutney or coconut chutney if you are used to an accompaniment with your pasta but this should be good on its own too.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Sunshinemom

    Kalyan, most welcome:)! Thanks:).

  • The knife

    absolutely love the food photos Harini. Will keep coming to you for tips on how to improve my food pics

  • veggie belly

    LOVE how you shaped the vermicelli, just gorgeous.

  • jayasree

    Get well soon, Harini. Semiya upma is a favorite with my husband and he can have it for all three meals.

    Awesome presentation..Beautiful clicks.

  • Jayashree

    Beautiful pics.

  • Sunshinemom

    Thanks everyone!

    Anu, welcome back:)

    RV, taking pics definitely made me feel lots better actually!

    Satya, thanks for visiting:).

    Xiaolu, this tastes better than oats. Do try it.

  • Khaugiri

    I make this upma regularly for breakfast….but anything more than that….ur pictures are so tempting dear……

  • Xiaolu

    Oh I love upma and have tried it with semolina and even oats, but never noodles. Looks very tasty, Harini, especially the photo with the fork.

  • Satya

    hi dear
    first time to ur blog …u got a beautiful space here with really tongue tickling recipes with beautiful clicks …this semiya upma is my favorite too ..very beautiful presentation dear…happy to find u
    if u get time do visit my blog


  • RV

    It is so inspiring to see how you were able to present beautifully in spite of sickness. And love the title of the dish.

  • Priti

    I love semiya upma…all time fav…nice clicks 🙂

  • Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal

    Wow, what a beautiful presentation dear, loving it.

  • Arundathi

    i love semiya upma too! 🙂

    beautiful pictures!

Leave a Reply to Arundathi