One of the first recipes from my beginner cooking days I was confident to cook was the utterly delicious semiya upma. Like Maggi noodles for this generation, comfort and quick college food was semiya upma for us in those days. Fry the onion, boil water and add the roasted semiya. A one dish meal with minimum utensils and effort, and a tasty end result, it’s very easy to latch on semiya upma for comfort.
Semiya is Indian vermicelli. Made with durum wheat and free of egg, it’s available very thin, broken and in packets in Indian grocery stores.
(for 2 to 4, for 2 to 1 meal)
2 cups, semiya (Indian vermicelli)
1 medium sized red onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 fresh chillies, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh peas, shelled
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted, cashew pieces
1/4 teaspoon, salt or to taste
1 tablespoon, peanut oil
from masala dabba, for curry leaf tadka: 10 curry leaves, and
1/4 teaspoon each- urad dal, chana dal, mustard seeds and cumin
1. Heat a wide pan over medium heat. Add semiya. With a slotted spoon, turn the semiya over and over again and roast until the semiya is uniformly pale red. Transfer the roasted semiya to a plate. The roasting process prevents the semiya becoming a gooey mudda in the end and increases the ruchi very much.
2. In the same pan, heat peanut oil. When oil is hot, add curry leaves, urad dal, chana dal, mustard seeds and cumin. Saute the tadka ingredients to fragrance, constantly stirring. Add onion and chilli pieces. Saute to soft. Add peas and 3 cups of water. Sprinkle salt. Mix well and cover the pan with a lid. Increase the heat to high.
3. When the water comes to a rolling boil, remove the lid and constantly stirring, add the roasted semiya to water. Reduce the heat to medium. Partially cover the pan and cook the semiya till the water is all absorbed. Turn off the heat.
4.Garnish with cilantro and cashew pieces. Gently mix and leave the semiya upma for ten minutes for flavors to mingle well. Then serve the semiya upma hot with pickle, chutney or podi. Kids love it with some sugar sprinkled on the top. Tasty semiya upma can be had for breakfast, evening snack, or for meal.
Semiya Upma with Mango Aavakaaya and Avocado ~ for Meal on Ekadashi
for 1 cup of semiya – add one and half cups of water