Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Semiya Upma - Vermicelli with vegetables

Upma is one of those dishes that you either love or hate.  I truly believe that it all goes back to your first memories of eating upma.  If the upma is made well – without lumps, and is nice and warm, you end up loving it.  On the other hand, if your first experience was lumpy upma, then you end up hating it.  My theory goes out the window though in the case of my family.  Both my brothers did not like upma (and they grew up eating the same upma that I ate) and my husband did not like upma either, even though my mother-in-law made it really well.

I love upma – in any form.  I love arisi upma, sooji upma, semiya upma, aval upma, quinoa upma – you get the idea. But because my husband did not like it, I did not make it often, saving it for days when he travels or when he has a business dinner.  In the 21 years that we have been married though, I have converted him.  Though he won’t crave upma (like I sometimes do), he actually enthusiastically agrees if I suggest upma for lunch or dinner – especially if we have been eating a lot of rich, heavy meals.

Upma is a dish that adapts to what you have on hand. You can make a simple upma with just ingredients for tadka and sooji.  Or you can add a ton of veggies and make it to suit your taste.

Here is a version of upma that I made recently.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 – 3 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. channa dal
  • 2 -3 green chilies, slit
  • few curry leaves
  • ½” piece ginger, slivered
  • ½ medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (I used a frozen mix of corn, carrots, and peas)
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups roasted semiya (vermicelli) – see note

Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.
  2. When the seeds sputter, add the channa dal.  Stir well and cook till the channa dal changes color.
  3. Add the green chilies, ginger, and curry leaves.  Mix well and fry for a minute or so.
  4. Now add all the veggies and salt.  I used frozen veggies.  You can add fresh veggies of your choice (carrots, beans, potatoes, peas, cauliflower, peppers – to name a few).   Let the veggies cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add water and turn the heat to high.  Let the water come to a boil.
  6. Add the roasted semiya and turn the heat to low.  Cover and cook for about 6 – 8 minutes until the semiya is cooked.

Fluff with a fork, and serve hot with chutney or pickle of your choice.  I mostly make it for lunch or sometimes a light dinner.  You can make this for breakfast too.

  1. I used roasted semiya.  If your vermicelli is not roasted, you can dry roast it till it turns slightly golden and then follow the recipe.
  2. You can also add cashews when you season the upma for a richer, more festive version of the dish.

1 comment:

  1. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes


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