An upma to a South Indian is like Polenta to a Southerner or Couscous to someone from the Mediterranean. A warm, comforting, quick and easy dish that makes a regular appearance in homes like ours. Well, at least the home I grew up in. I love upma ! It is a dish that people have a love-hate relationship with. In our home, here, now……it is not a favorite for most…but it is tolerated !!
Right off the bat, the traditional upma does not come with Ghee fried bread croutons …yup….that addition is to bribe the kids to eat one of their least favorite meal….all thanks to my mom for this brilliant idea ! Albeit I couldn’t bring myself to add the same quantity ghee a grandma adds while feeding her grandchildren, it worked…partly because the croutons were yum and partly because I wouldn’t let them not finish it😅!!
Vermicelli is thin wheat pasta/ noodles like and cooks really fast. I bought unroasted vermicelli and slightly toasted it before starting to make my upma. Roasted Vermicelli is readily available in most Indian and Middle Eastern stores, just remember, for upma, get medium thick vermicelli. The very thin ones can get mushy quickly, especially if you are new to making this dish.
Recipe : Semiya Upma
|Prep Time : 10 minutes||Cook time : 10 minutes|
|Spice Level : 🌶🌶||Ease Level : 😃|
|Serves 4||Entree / Tiffin|
- Roasted Vermicelli : 3/4 cup
- Finely chopped veggies of choice : 3/4 cup – carrot, bean, potatoes, peas, etc.,.
- Salt to taste
- Ghee – 1 teaspoon – to drizzle in the end
- Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon – optional
- Water : 1 cup (keep a couple of tablespoons extra in reserve, in case you need it)
For Tempering :
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
- ‘Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Peanuts – 1/4 cup
- Dry red chili / (chili flakes) – 1 / (1/8 teaspoon)
- Curry leaves – 4 or 5
- Asafetida – 1/8 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
For Bread Croutons:
- Ghee – 2 tablespoon – yup!
- Bread slices – 3 – cubed
Heat a skillet on medium high, add ghee to it once it’s hot, then add the. bread cubes and mix it up well. Turn heat to medium and let toast to desired crispness. Set aside.
To make the upma :
- Heat the skillet on medium high, add oil of choice, once its hot, add the tempering ingredients starting with mustard seeds. Once they crackle add the rest, one by one.
- The peanuts must turn slightly dark in color to that they remain crunchy for much longer.
- Next, toss in the veggies and a pinch of salt to help them cook, cover and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Open, add the turmeric powder and saute for 30 seconds.
- Since I had chopped my veggies into very small cubes, they cooked really fast.
- Add the cup of water, and let it come to a boil. Add enough salt to taste.
- Once water is boiling add the roasted vermicelli to this, mix thoroughly , simmer the stove, cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
- Remove lid, drizzle in additional ghee and that sugar if you want and remove from heat.
- After 5 minutes, fluff it up really well, garnish with the ghee fried croutons and serve with chutney of choice or just some yogurt.
I hope you try this and like it, let me know if you did, thank you for stopping by !