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homemade fluffy soft semiya upma served in a enamel rimmed bowl with a spoon
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Semiya Upma Recipe- Vermicelli Upma

Semiya upma is a delicious, easy and popular south Indian breakfast recipe made with vermicelli, vegetables, lentils, peanuts and some basic spices. It is simple, easy to make one pot recipe that gets ready in less than 15 minutes. This vermicelli recipe is vegan and very versatile.
In this post I am sharing 2 ways to make semiya upma recipe- one on stove top and second recipe is making easy vermicelli upma in instant pot.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: semiya upma, vermicelli upma
Servings: 3
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Harini


  • 2 cups vermicelli loosely packed, 180 grams
  • 1 carrot small, chopped
  • 12 beans chopped
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup onions thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili
  • 4 teaspoons oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal
  • 2 tablespoons peanut
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • Measure unroasted semiya and set aside.
    unroasted vermicelli for upma
  • Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add about 2 teaspoons oil. You can also use ghee for richer flavor.
    heating oil in a pan
  • Keep roasting in low flame until oil coats well and vermicelli turns aromatic. Do not go by the color change and do not let it brown a lot. Once done remove the roasted vermicelli to a plate.
    adding semiya to hot oil for roasting
  • As the semiya gets roasted chop 1 medium carrot, 12 beans. Also keep 1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas ready. If you want to make this upma very quickly, you can skip adding vegetables or use frozen vegetables too. You will need about 3/4 cup of mixed vegetables.
    roasting semiya

Making Semiya Upma

  • Heat the same oil again in the same pan. Add mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon urad dal,1 teaspoon chana dal and 1 tablespoon peanuts. Saute and fry for a minute.
    tempering mustard seeds, urad dal and chana dal for vermicelli upma
  • Add 12 curry leaves, 1 teaspoon minced ginger and saute well.
  • Add thinly sliced onions and saute for another minute or till they a turn a bit soft. Do not let the onions brown for any upma recipe.
  • Now add slit green chilli and saute again.
  • Add finely chopped vegetables and saute. Cook in medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Now add 2 cups water, salt to taste and 1/4 teaspoon oil. Mix well and let the salt dissolve.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil.
  • Lower the flame and add roasted semiya. It will not form lumps like rava, so you can add everything at once.
  • Mix very well.
  • The semiya will absorb water and get cooked. Maintain medium heat.
  • Cook keeping the pan open until all the water is absorbed.
  • Once all the water is absorbed and vermicelli looks soft, cover the pan and simmer. Cook covered for for 2-3 minutes.
    Remove from flame, add lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Mix gently to fluff up the semiya. Serve semiya upma hot.
    closeup shot of vermicelli upma


Instant Pot Vermicelli Upma

For ingredients and quantity please refer recipe card or step by step photos above. With this instant pot recipe you can make vermicelli upma in minutes.
Place your steel insert inside your instant pot and switch it on. Press saute and once it displays hot add 2 teaspoons oil. Add semiya and roast for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Add 1 teaspoon more oil. Temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal and peanuts. Saute well till lentil turns golden brown. Next add ginger, green chilies and few curry leaves. Saute well for another minute.
Once the raw flavor of ginger is gone, add sliced onions and saute for a bit until they turn soft. Now add chopped vegetables like grated carrots, chopped green beans and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1.75 cups water and add salt to taste (IP needs less water compared to stovetop method)
Add vermicelli, mix gently and close the IP. Cancel saute, press pressure cook or manual and set timer for 1 minute to let the semiya cook. Set pressure valve to seal position.
Once the Instant pot beeps, release pressure immediately with caution. Fluff up the vermicelli, add lemon juice, mix well and serve hot.


Serving: 3servings | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3491IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg