Awesomelli Vermicelli

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and most of the times, our busy lives lead us to the usual-suspects i.e. cereals / eggs / bagels and such. This sheer monotony should motivate us to look for other options. I typically do this during the weekend mornings when there is relatively more time to try something that is a little more time-intensive than cereals :).  So, how about some delicious South Indian fare called  Upma that is like a porridge or risotto but really yummy 🙂

Upma is a common breakfast item made in South India. Although made with typical ingredients like rice or broken wheat, the use of  Vermicelli  (“Little worms”) gives the upma a very nice texture and kids love it because it is like noodles. Now, Let us get right to the making,shall we? 


  • Vermicelli – 2 cups
  • Olive oil – 3 to 4 Tbsp
  • Water – Enough to submerge the flavored vermicelli . It has to be hot when added to the mixture
For spluttering:
  • Mustard- 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin- 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (aka hing) – A pinch
  • Optional
    • Peanuts – 2 tbsp
    • Cashews- 2 tbsp
    • Curry leaves – A bunch say 10-12

I prefer to add a variety of colorful veggies and I would leave it to your personal preference. My typical choices are

  • Carrots, bell peppers, onions (julienned)
  • Shelled edamame
  • Tomato – 1 cup diced
  • Ginger – thinly sliced, 1/2 thumb size
  • Chopped cilantro for garnishing
  • Thai green chili or serrano per your preference
Spice powder:
  • 1/2 tsp each of Chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder, black pepper powder
  • Salt – to taste


  • Heat oil in a heavy pan. To this,  add the spluttering ingredients one at a time starting with mustard. Add the other ingredients after mustard crackling is complete

Crackling components

  • To this mixture add  the onion, give it a quick toss and add the rest of the veggie medley. Stir well

The Veggie medley

  • Add the spice powders and toss the vegetables in them and let it simmer for a few minutes to let the veggies absorb the goodness of the spice powders

Blend the veggie's well with the spices

  • In another pan, dry roast the vermicelli just a bit to make it slightly crispy and add it to the veggie medley, toss it gently and add salt

Toss the Vermicelli in the mix gently

  • Pour enough hot water to submerge the vermicelli/veggies. Cover with a lid to ensure that the mixture is cooked al dente and not clumpy / sticky (10-15 mins). Give the mixture a gentle toss but do not over-cook or over-stir

Awesome-elli Vermecelli upma

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot as-is or with a chutney (try our own Tomato Chutney or coconut chutney )

So, go ahead and keep the day exciting with a yummy breakfast!!

Buongiorno and namaste 🙂

PS: A typical Indian recipe may seem overwhelming with the ingredients’ list and process. If you break it down, it usually comprises of spluttering for the flavor, spice powders that adds to the unique flavor/taste followed by veggies/main ingredient. As long as you stock up your pantry with the typical items like some listed above, most of the dishes tend to use them in some variation or the other. In summary, after a few tries, you will get used to the style and can +/- ingredients based on your preference

By |2018-09-12T19:19:12+00:00November 2nd, 2014|Pilaf, Vegan|6 Comments

About the Author:

Shruthi is the creative chef and mastermind behind these flavorful chutneys and dishes. Cooking with only the freshest ingredients, she loves using her chutneys to add a new twist to traditional favorites. She is constantly experimenting with new recipes, striving to bring the complex sweet and savory flavors of India into your easy, every-day meals. Shruthi lives in Southern California with her husband and two foodie kids, and looks forward to sharing her passion for food with you!


  1. Ema Jones November 2, 2014 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    I liked the title Awesomelli Vermicelli 🙂
    Hope I can eliminate Peanuts…

    • Zesteez
      Zesteez November 3, 2014 at 7:58 am - Reply

      Thank you!! I wanted the title to be catchy:) as for eliminating the peanuts-you can definitely substitute it with either cashews or pistachios, or completely remove them (its totally up to your liking)

      • Ema Jones November 3, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

        Gr8, I would like adding cashews instead of peanuts, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

        • Zesteez
          Zesteez November 3, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

          Absolutely! Have a pleasant day.

  2. Tracy Wells November 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    This looks soooo yummy!!! Can’t wait to try!

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