Vermicelli Upma (A lazy day meal :) )

I am sure you have days when you don’t want to do much of anything. Just a “take it easy”, “keep it simple” kind of  day.  I am sure you have an arsenal of quick recipes to survive such days…. you can add this one to that list too 🙂

If you have tried vermicelli before and have hated it, it is highly likely that you didn’t like the texture. Vermicelli is very unforgiving when it is overcooked. Al dente is a must, else it becomes gummy and not very appealing. Hope this quick recipe helps you to fall in love with vermicelli.

  • I am using roasted vermicelli – 1 cup. If you have only  the plain vermicelli, all you have to do is heat a tsp of oil in the skillet and toss the vermicelli in the oil for a minute in low heat, until it becomes golden brown.


  • Veggies that you’ll need :
  1. onions – 1 small or half medium (sliced thin)
  2. carrots + green beans (french cut) + green peas – 1 cup
  3. minced ginger – 1 tsp
  4. chopped cilantro
  5. grated coconut – 2 tbsp
  6. lime juice – 1 tsp (optional)
  7. slit green chilles – 3 or 4  (replace with red pepper flakes)


  • In a pot, heat a spoon of oil, and fry seasoning of your preference. I fried mustard seeds and urad dhal as I like the nutty flavors they bring. You can use cumin instead or garam masala (cloves, cinnamon and cardamon). Then saute the onions until translucent, and then the green chillies and ginger and the finally add the carrots, beans and peas. Add salt to sweat the veggies.


  • When the vegetables soften, add 1.5 cups of water to the pot.  [ 1 cup of vermicelli : 1.5 cups of water] Usually the package says to add 2 cups of water, but 1.5 cups of water gives the right texture. Add salt to the water as needed and bring the water to boil.


  • Add the roasted vermicelli to the boiling water and keep stirring. Reduce heat to medium.


  • I timed it and it took exactly 3 minutes to cook 🙂 .


  • Turn off the heat and add the chopped cilantro and grated coconut. You can add a tsp of lime juice for acid but its optional.


And its done. The most time you will spend is in cutting vegetables, if you had pre-cut frozen vegetables , this becomes even quicker.


Some variations :

1. You can add garam masala, ginger garlic paste and mint leaves to make it into vermicelli pulav

2. You can add shredded cabbage, soy sauce and green chilli sauce and make a chinese version of this.

3. You can add turmeric powder and lemon juice.

4. If you choose to add tomatoes, reduce the amount of water.

5. You can add toasted cashews or peanuts.


11 thoughts on “Vermicelli Upma (A lazy day meal :) )

    • Thanks for visiting Priya ! And its not a silly question, ten years back, I used to buy this frozen French cut green beans, for a long time I thought its a new type of beans , as we are not used to cutting beans this way. It took me a while to learn that “French cut” means cutting the veggies lengthwise. Just try to cut them across their length. I prefer thus cut for upmas as they cook very fast 🙂 ( oh boy , your question took me back to those days of me exploring the grocery stores here not knowing what half of those things were…. )

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