Good day to you. The recipe I have come up with is a breakfast dish which is dear to the South Indian community. Vermicelli is used in different ways in India. Desserts are the main item which is prepared using this ingredient. But off late, we have seen many savory dishes churned out of this ingredient. Upma or sauteed vermicelli is a super famous, quick and easy brekkie dish which comes around in 20 minutes. Regular pantry staples goes into the making of this dish.
Vermicelli, a food or pasta which is extensively used in India is supposed to have originated in Italy. They termed it worm pasta since it resembles worms. You find pasta in different forms and sizes. Italians make the vermicelli in a simple way by cooking it in broth and flavoring it with garlic, cheese and greens. But we Indians as always take things differently. We make it lil bit complicated and messy, though that’s our way of doing things and its how we eat. There are many health benefits associated with our style too.
I have done this vermicelli in 2 ways. One plain simple normal way, an upma is made and the other one with vegetables. Lentils, onions, chillies, ginger, curry leaves are what it gives this dish its flavor. I’m adding fresh grated coconut which rounds of this dish and helps in balancing the flavors. A tad sprinkle of sugar on the plain vermicelli is a relsih to enjoy with your morning cuppa. You can also complement it with some bananas too.
Vegetarian Upma brings in a different taste altogether. I know many of your will be wondering how it can bring in a tremendous change. But yes, it will, sauteed veggies when added to the upma will bring in a sort of freshness to this dish. It will add crunch, taste and health benefits to your upma. Heat up thoroughly after adding the veggies so that all the flavors get soaked into the vermicelli. Most important thing to take care is that the vermicelli you use. The thickness, texture all will vary according to the brand. There are different sizes of vermicelli available in the market. I used the one which are thin. So when adding water you have to be careful in taking the quantity. Add boiled water in batches and cook so that you get the right texture.
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Heat oil/coconut oil and ghee. Add Mustard seeds and let it crackle, followed by split black gram, split Bengal gram, dried Red chillies (optional). Stir for few seconds.
When you start to get roasted aroma add the ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute till aromatic. throw in the onions. Combine everything along with Salt and cook.
When onions turn soft and pink, add the vermicelli. Mix up and roast till golden in color. You can add the boiling water at this time. Incorporate homogeneously. Adjust salt. Stir once or twice while it gets cooked. When half done, add the grated coconut. Stick the lid on. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Mean while,heat a frying pan. Add Ghee/oil. To this add green peas. Quickly saute for a minute. Follow with grated carrots, tomatoes and coriander. Stir fry for a minute. Take off the stove. Set aside.
Once the vermicelli is cooked through, Stir and mix up without any lumps.
Basic upma ready. Transfer half to a bowl.
Enjoy with a sprinkle of sugar/banana or chutney of your choice
In the remaining half, add the sauteed veggies. Combine till thoroughly incorporated. Heat up once more.
Serve hot with yogurt and papad