This will probably be my last post for the Light Lunches Event here @RedChillies an on-going event for the month of June. This event focuses on light lunches that are easy on the calories, yet rich in taste and delicious.
?Once such dish that fits the bill and one which I make often is this Vermicelli Upma (called as Shaivge upma in Kannada). Semiya is Indian vermicelli and is available in the Indian grocery stores.?
At our home it has transformed from a breakfast/tiffin/evening snack dish to a main course lunch/dinner dish owing to lack of time. The good thing is that this is a one dish meal and that means less work with cleaning and dish washing. This is also a crowd pleaser and can be put together in no time (if you have the semiya/shevai on hand). This is also a good one to make when you are looking for quick ideas when unexpected guests arrive.
?Growing up, as kids we preferred this upma over the regular Sooji upma. My mom would then sneak in as many veggies as possible to make this colorful and healthy. You can add the vegetables mentioned here or more to make it nutritious. This is a kid’s favorite dish as it looks more like noodles. You can reduce the amount of green chillies and sprinkle little bit of sugar before offering it to them.
- There are two varieties of Vermicelli available (at least in the Bambino variety) the plain broken vermicelli and the roasted vermicelli.
- Using the roasted vermicelli makes the upma process easier as it prevents the extra step of roasting. This is also non-sticky and avoids forming clumps.
- But taste wise I like the plain vermicelli better and I like roasting the vermicelli myself. But the color of the vermicelli in this case will not be white.
How to prevent the vermicelli from sticking?
- Roast the vermicelli in little oil slowly so that it is evenly browned. Keep aside. Also use the correct amount of water while cooking. This prevents the vermicelli from sticking.
- If pre-cooking the vermicelli, then first boil the vermicelli in water as per package suggestion. After draining the hot water, add running cold water. After the cold water is drained add about a tsp of oil and toss it gently so that the oil sticks all around. This prevents from vermicelli sticking to each other.
Vermicelli Upma Recipe
- 2 cups? vermicelli/ semiya/ shavige ( I use this Bambino variety)
- ? cup onion (finely chopped)
- ? cup peas (shelled)
- ? cup carrot (chopped finely)
- ? cup potato (peeled and chopped finely)
- 2-3 green chillies ( finely chopped )
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad daal
- Juice of a lemon
- Cilantro (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup broken cashew (optional)
- ? cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- Please read the notes above before proceeding.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil in pan over medium heat and add the vermicelli. Keep stirring the mixture until the vermicelli turns pale brown. Transfer to plate and keep aside.
- In the same pan now heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and mix until the urad daal turns light brown in color.
- Add the chopped onion and green chillies. ?After the onion has cooked a little add the chopped carrots, potatoes and peas and keep stirring. (Since the vegetables are chopped finely, they will cook fast.)
- Add salt and little bit more oil if necessary and stir continuously.
- Add 3 cups of water to this and let it come to boil. At this point check for seasoning. It is better to have the correct taste at this time.
- Add the roasted vermicelli to this, stir, turn the heat to medium and cover with a lid.
- After 5 minutes stir again and now partially cover the pan until the water has all absorbed. Turn off the heat.
- Lastly garnish with lemon juice, chopped cilantro and cashew pieces. Keep the lid covered for another 5-10 minutes. Stir again and serve hot.