Posted by: Sahaja | December 5, 2008

Semiya Upma – Semolina dish – Vermicelli

This is a very common breakfast recipe in Andhra Pradesh of India…..Its a favorite of all ages in stages 😛 hehe let me explain….Most of the kids dont like it coz mom makes it so often! But when these kids go to hostel, they suddenly realize Upma is heaven of all of them since thats the easiest they can sneak out and make in their hostel rooms to avoid messy mess food…..and when they become wifes/husbands love it again coz its easy and gives more time at dining table rather than in kitchen! And finally u know why mom’s like it…fits in their busy schedule!

Ok Ok…after so much of applaud…let me start the recipe!

What You Need :

Vermicelli / Semolina – 1 pack
Onions – 1 finely diced
Tomatoes – 1 diced [optional but recommended, i didnt have when i made]
Ginger – 1/4 tsp
Green chillies – 3/4
curry leaves – 5-6
Seasoning – popu/tadka ingridients as said in prev posts
Salt – to taste

Semiya Upma

How to do?

Take a wide pan and roast the semiya/vermicelli for about 2 mins.
Now remove the roasted semiya and keep aside.
Heat oil in the pan and add seasoning once oil is heated.
Once the mustard seeds pop, add onions, ginger and green chillies and fry till onions are golden brown/translucent.
Now add tomatoes and cook for abt 3 mins.
Add 2 cups of water [to one cup of semiya] and bring it to boil. [take care that while adding water, flame is made small].
Add salt and mix well.
Now add the semiya stirring well.
Keep the lid on it and cook for few minutes mixing once in 3/4 minutes so that it doesnt get sticked to bottom.
Garnish with coriander and serve hot with sugar or chutney!

PS: I love it when it gets a bit sticked to bottom 🙂 and love it with slight sprinkle of sugar and cocunut chutney.


upma and coffee

upma and coffee



  1. Hi Sahaja,

    I never know you had this cooking blog. Actually I started cooking about two weeks back as I am staying alone now, and in dire need of such cooking blogs. And what a coincidence – I was just thinking of how to make semia upma (I have mastered cooking plain rice and instant rava upma after having a proven capablity of cooking noodles!). As you can see, nothing much of experience I have. One problem I have when i heat oil with the dal is – the dal(pappu) gets black instantly!! I am trying to do it in pressure pan. I hope that’s ok. Anyway, I will try to do this tomorrow.

  2. Thanks DI. I started this only in November….Its a nice timepass and learning activity for me 🙂 And I thought I would post how much ever simple and common the recipe, as long as I enjoy doing it 🙂 ….like semiya upma is one of the most common in south india but still it helps people like u and me 🙂

    Ohh u mean dal as in tadka?? like the one we use for seasoning? or dal as in pappu [dish to eat with rice]?

    If its first one, then wait for the oil to heat up a little, and always keep the flame low for the start. To know once the oil is heated, add 2 or 3 mustard seeds and they should pop or u shud be able to hear the sound we hear when we fry. If it pops, add the rest of tadka , curry leaves and switch off the stove after 30secs and immediately take off from the stove.

    If its second, i prefer cooking in a pressure cooker ….if u r cooking it in open , then u have to make sure u add plenty of water and stir occasionally.

    [Ohooohh…thats a lot of advice…hehe 😛 Look whos speaking ;)] anyways hope its of help…..and Happy cooking !!

    Welcome to my kitchen and keep visiting to taste 😛

  3. Hey, this is quite popular in Tamil Nadu too. As you say, its easy to make and so it’s ideal for those who don’t have much time. It’s tastes delicious when its hot and served with chutney! 😉

  4. I didn’t try the Puliodharai. I thought it was very complicated. I tried this instead – semiya. I would like to make the following observations:

    I did roast the semia but I never knew that I had to do it till the colour changes.

    I think two cups of water is quite high. The semiya was quite sticky. One and a quarter cup for one cup of semia should be ok.

    I forgot how many chillies you suggested, and put 5 big ones. Though, I am telugu by birth, I was raised in Chennai. So, two chillies are enough for people from other than A.P.

    You need to tell us that chutney cannot be made by just buying a coconut. I was educated that it needs a mixer!

    Wondering how I got so much of information just two days after trying my first semia upma?? I brought someone from my house owner’s place and they cooked it for me the second time around. Actually I wanted to make a blog post about ‘how not to cook semia upma’ but felt it would be too self bashing and left it alone.

    Anyways I thank you for inspiring such lazy people like me to make semia upma 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  5. Destination Infinity,

    I forgot how many chillies you suggested, and put 5 big ones. Though, I am telugu by birth, I was raised in Chennai. So, two chillies are enough for people from other than A.P.

    Though I’m from Chennai, I prefer my dishes to be more spicy, with more chillies and chilly powder, Andhra style! 😛 😉

  6. Raj,

    There is a place called Guntur in AP. We once stopped there on our way to Vijayawada to have food. The hotel people asked us where we were from and suggested that we do not have sambar as it is supposed to be too spicy for us. Then we just tasted the rasam. Gaaawwwddd!! I had never eaten such hot (kaaram) food before. Thank God, the curd was ok 🙂

    So I suggest that you take a tour to Guntur once in a while to enjoy the culinary which would also satisfy your tastes well, I guess 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  7. Destination Infinity,

    I would like to taste it definitely 🙂 but if it’s so hot that your tongue starts burning, then I would not want to have it either 😐

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