Yummy Tummy Tuesdays – Semiya Upma

This dish – semiya upma (vermicilli upma) was always my bane – DH would dread the days I would announce – “I am making semiya upma today”. He would shake his head and say (the same thing I would be thinking) – “Why waste time and effort on something and throw it away in the end since it will anyway be a big lumpy mass?”
But with some repeated trial and error and watching my mom and mom-in-law prepare it to perfection each time, I finally had a break – my semiya upma turned out yummy, fluffy, and perfect!
With this success behind me a few Sundays in a row, I decided to make this my main dish for 60+ guests who would come home on the occasion of Navratri to view the Golu we had kept, to socialize, to sing songs, and just enjoy the festivities. I had a moment of dread when I dropped the roasted vermicilli into the humungous vessel of boiling water – but as the saying goes – All is well that ends well – and the semiya upma too ended well!
This is a great weekend brunch dish or an anytime dish.
For the vermicilli dish, here is the recipe: (to serve 2 to 3 people)
2 cups vermicilli (I used Bambino brand roasted vermicilli so I do not need to
do the roasting!)
1 cup mixed vegetables (or as much as you want – since Navratri is a no-onion
time for most people, I only used capsicum, carrots and peas else onion makes
it taste good too)
1/4 tsp Mustard, 1/2 tsp urad dal, few curry leaves, a little hing, turmeric
powder — for tadka
Ginger – about an 1 inch piece – chopped fine
Dry red chillies – as much as you need (or you can use green chillies also
oil – 1/4 cup (this is where we should not skimp on oil and all my healthy
cooking has to be put aside to get the texture)
Water – 3 cups
Salt – to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

Heat about half of the oil and add the tadka items to it. Once the mustard
bursts, add the chillies and ginger and fry for some time (if adding onions,
add now)
Add the vegetables and cook for a while. (i used frozen peas/carrots so did not
steam them beforehand as they tend to cook sooner and capsicum cooks fast as
Now add the water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining oil at this time.
Add the salt and the vermicilli and reduce heat to medium-low while stirring
enough to avoid lumps.
Close the pan and let it cook for a few mins (<5 mins)
Add the lemon juice and mix well and serve.

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