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Semiya upma or vegetable vermicelli upma in wooden bowl, spoons and chutney at the back.
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4.60 from 10 votes

Semiya Upma (Vermicelli Upma)

Semiya Upma is a delicious and healthy one pot south Indian breakfast dish made using vermicelli. It is also known as vermicelli upma or seviyan upma. You can make it in instant pot too.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snacks
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 5
Calories: 473kcal
Author: Farrukh Aziz


  • tablespoons Oil or Ghee divided
  • 2 cups Vermicelli (Semiya)
  • teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • teaspoon Chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon Urad dal
  • ¼ cup Raw peanuts or 10-12 Cashew nuts optional
  • 2-3 Green chillies slit or chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 Onion medium sized, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup Carrot chopped
  • ¼ cup French beans (optional) chopped
  • ¼ cup Green Peas
  • ¾ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 3 cups Water (2.5 cups for Instant Pot version)
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves as needed finely chopped


How to make semiya upma recipe on stove top

  • In a pan or kadai, heat 2 teaspoons of ghee or oil. Add vermicelli and roast until light brown.
  • Take it out on plate and set it aside.
  • In the same pan or kadai, heat remaining oil or ghee in same pan or kadhai. Add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.
  • Add chana dal and urad dal and fry for 30 seconds on medium heat.
  • Add raw peanuts (or cahsew nuts) and fry until just golden and aromatic.
  • Add slit green chilies and curry leaves, fry for few seconds.
  • Add chopped onions and salt, fry until soft and pink.
  • Then, add chopped carrots, beans and green peas, sauté on high for a minute.
  • Add turmeric and red chili powder, sauté for a minute.
  • Now, add 3 cups of water and bring it to boil.
  • Once water boils well, add lemon juice and roasted vermicelli, mix. Allow the vermicelli to absorb water.
  • Cover and cook on low for 2 minutes only.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves, switch off the heat and leave it undisturbed for couple of minutes. Then fluff it up using spoon or a fork. Dish out and serve with coconut chutney and pickle on the side.

How to make vermicelli upma in instant pot

  • Switch on the IP and press sauté mode. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil or ghee. Add vermicelli and roast it for 1-2 minutes. Take care not to burn.
  • Take it out on plate and set it aside.
  • Heat remaining ghee and add mustard seeds, let it crackle.
  • Add chana dal and urad dal and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add peanuts (or csahew nuts) and fry for a minute until just brown and aromatic.
  • Now, add curry leaves and green chilies, fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped onions, salt and fry until just soft and pink.
  • Then, add chopped carrot, beans (if using) and green peas, sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add turmeric powder and red chili powder and saute for few seconds.
  • Now, add roasted vermicelli and mix.
  • Add 2 and ½ cup of water, lemon juice and mix.
  • Immediately, close the IP with valve in sealing position and pressure cook on low for 1 minute only.
  • Quick release the pressure carefully with valve in venting position. Open the pot and cover it with IP glass lid or any lid that fits into it. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the semiya upma with fork, add coriander leaves and serve.
  • Heat oil or ghee, add mustard seeds and allow it crackle.


Always use the ratio of 1 cup vermicelli to 1.5 cups of water for stove top version and 1 cup of vermicelli to 1.25 cup of water for instant pot version.
If you are using thin variety of vermicelli, then reduce the amount of water to 1 cup to 1 cup of vermicelli.
If you are using unroasted vermicelli then do roast the vermicelli in ghee or oil for more earthy flavour and aroma. 
If you are using pre roasted vermicelli then skip the roasting step and proceed with the recipe.
To make semiya upma  dairy free, vegan and nut free, use oil, skip ghee and raw peanuts or cashew nuts.
You can skip the nuts if you re allergic to it. Proceed with the rest.
You can add your choice of vegetables in the recipe or simply skip them and make plain lemon semiya upma.
Modify the amount of chillies as per your liking.


Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1165IU | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.4mg