Sevia Upma

Ever tire of the Suji Upma? Try this wonderful twist for a change. Vermicelli is known by a host of other names – Sevia, Seviya, Semiya, Sevai. Upma is a great breakfast or snack idea and goes great with C-Chutney or Tomato Chutney or just plain old pickle!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serves: 4

Vermicelli/Sevia – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Channa Daal – 1 tsp
Raw Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Urad Daal – 1 tsp
Cashews – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – pinch
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves – few
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Green Chillies – to taste, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Carrots & Peas – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Water – 1.5 cups
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – for garnish


1. Heat 1 tsp of the Oil in a pan on medium heat.
2. Once the Oil is hot, roast the Vermicelli till it turns light golden.
3. Stir continuously.
4. Once done, remove to another pan to stop the cooking process. Keep aside.
5. In the same pan, add the remaining Oil and heat on medium heat.
6. Once hot, add in Mustard Seeds and allow them to pop.
7. Add in Channa Daal and Peanuts and cook for 30 seconds.
8. Add in the Urad Daal and the Broken Cashew.
9. Cook till they turn to a light golden color.
10. Add in the Turmeric Powder & Asafoetida. Mix well.
11. Add in the Curry Leaves and allow them to cook for 10-15 seconds.
12. Add in the Onions, Carrots & Peas, Green Chillies and Ginger.
13. Cook till the Onions turn translucent.
14. Add in Salt and Water.
15. Cover the pan and allow the Water to come to a boil.
16. Once it is boiling, open cover and add in the roasted Sevia.
17. Give it a really good mix, lower heat, cover and cook for 6 minutes.
18. Stir inbetween once.
19. After 6 minutes, turn the flame off and allow it to sit covered for another 5 minutes.
20. Open, fluff gently, garnish with Cilantro and serve hot.


1. A lot of Indian stores now carry pre-roasted Vermicelli, so to save on cooking time, use that.
2. Boil Water in the microwave to save time.
3. Splash water on the Onions to help cooking without them turning brown.

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32 thoughts on “Sevia Upma

  1. Hi Hetal and Anuja.

    You both are doing great work.

    I thoroughly enjoy making your dishes and make you very far


  2. I cannot get fresh curry leaves locally. What can I substitute instead to get the same flavor? Love you ladies recipes, and videos.

    1. There is really no good substitute for curry leaves (unless you can find dried ones – but they don’t come close to the fresh ones). You can just leave them out.

  3. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    I made this upma today, but like Prasad has commented above, I boiled the vermicelli separately ( a minute or two) and drained them, and then refreshed with cold water. Then added it in the end. The texture was much better, the vermicelli was non-sticky and separate…very neat.
    You guys are doing a wonderful job !

  4. hi hetal,
    you people are doing great work.
    i just want to make a suggestion.
    its very tasty,if you add shredded coconut at the end after the semiya is cooked well and wen you do it, you need not add the hing and turmeric in the mom makes semiya upma like that.i think its a better suggestion,it gives a slight sweet, milky taste to the dish.

  5. Is this the same vermicelli that is used for sweet vermicelli pudding made with milk? I ask because yours look thicker and the sweet pudding one is super thin. Please clarify!


      1. I made this over the weekend and it turned out disastrous. I followed the direction exactly but the vermicelli kind of melted with everything else. It looked gooey instead of holding its shape. I didn’t even want to look at it after I was done with it. My husband had to throw it out.:(

        I think you should have been more clear in your directions as to what type of vermicelli to use. I am clueless when it comes to this product and little bit more info would have helped.

        1. Sorry Pinal 🙁

          We bought it from the Indian store and it said “Vermicelli” on it. It is a wheat product. Wondering what you used?

        2. I also bought mine from an Indian store and it said Vermicelli on it and I specifically asked if this is the one used for upma and the owner said yes. Maybe next time you can show the packaging of your product as well.

          1. Hi Pinal,

            I have seen rice noodles at Indian stores that can be used for upma as well. The only difference in preparation is that you have to soak the noodles in boiling hot water for about 3-5 minutes and drain them. Then you add it to the tadka (seasoning) and mix.

  6. hi hetal and anju di,
    i am doing Msc(dietic and food service manegment),now a days my practical is start of food science and mam said that you invent new dish or snacks which shelf life has min 10 days and cost not exceed Rs 25.I try many dish but she is not satisfied plz help me.

  7. Thank you for the delicious recipe. I made couple of changes to it.

    1. I boiled the vermicelli instead of roasting it. I heated enough water to boil and added a pinch of turmeric and then the vermicelli. Boiled it for one minute and strained the vermicelli. Now it is yellow – the right color and cooked.

    2. When adding the vermicelli to the cooked vegetables, I did not add any water since the vermicelli is already cooked. Since I did not any water, the vermicelli was not soggy at all.

    By the way, I added bell pepper as well.

    Turned out great!

    1. Hi Rizna,
      Cabbage and spring onions don’tusually go into Sevia Upma but then no one has tried it and it may taste fabulous…let us know if you do!
      Just a thought – both cabbage and spring onions, we think might get overcooked in the water…

  8. Hi Hetal, Anuja..
    When I prepared this, channa dal in my upma had become very hard (tough to bite kind of thing).. I am not sure where it went wrong.. Did i fry for long? or not enough?? Please advise !!


    1. Hi Anju,
      There is a couple of things that you can try next time to avoid that issue:
      – cook the daal on medium heat and not high, otherwise, the daal cooks/browns on the outside and is hard as a stone on the inside:(
      – soak the daal in water for 10-20 minutes and then add to the oil (sometimes the daal is old or the crop is not too good)
      Hope that helps!

  9. Good recipe..One more way to roast the vermicelli b4 cooking is to keep it in a microwave..Add required amt of oil/ghee in a microwave bowl mix the vermicelli in it and keep it uncovered for a minute or two..This way also it gets roasted perfectly..


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