Rice Vermicelli Upma

Rice Vermicelli upma is a simple, quick South Indian breakfast dish/evening snack made using rice vermicelli. Rice Vermicelli / Sevai/ Shavige (Kannada) / Semai da adde (Tulu*) is a popular dish throughout South India.

Making of sevai at home is a lengthy process. It involves soaking of  rice, grinding the rice, making dumplings of the rice paste, steaming them and pressing the cooked dumplings using a sevai press. However dried sevai packets are easily available in stores. I have used MTR rice vermicelli  to make this upma. Cooking time for sevai will vary depending on which brand of sevai is used. MTR sevai took me around 8 minutes to cook. However, the sevai that is available at Mangalore stores are very thin and gets cooked in 2 minutes after dropping into the boiling water.

* Tulu – language spoken in the south west part of Karnataka.

Sevai can be used for making a number of dishes like sevai upma, lemon sevai, mixed vegetable sevai, sevai kheer etc. Rice Vermicelli upma is a simple, tasty and quick preparation which also makes for a healthy lunch box dish for kids. Here goes the recipe:


2 cups Rice vermicelli (rice sevai)
1 tbsp  clarified butter (ghee)
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarso/rai)
1 tsp split black gram (udad dal)
1 dry red chilly (sookhi laal mirch)
Few curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 tsp finely chopped ginger (adrak)
8 to 9 cashew nuts (kaju)
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped (pyaaz)
2 green chillies, chopped (hari murch)
Salt as per taste (namak)
1 tbsp sugar (cheeni)
½ cup grated fresh coconut (nariyal)
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves (hara dhaniya)

Recipe for Rava UpmaBroken Wheat Upma

Rice Vermicelli Upma


  • Heat 4 cups of water in a pan.
  • Bring the water to a roaring boil.
  • Add the rice vermicelli into boiling water.
  • Cook for 5 to 8 minutes. (Cooking time of sevai will vary depending on the brand of sevai. Some sevais are very thin and does not take more than 2 minutes  to cook)
  • When the sevai is cooked, turn off the heat.  Strain the sevai and keep aside.
  • Heat ghee in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds, udad dal, dry red chilly, curry leaves and saute for few seconds.
  • Add cashew nuts and saute for few seconds.
  • Add chopped onion, chopped green chillies and saute till the onions turn soft and change its colour.
  • Add salt, sugar and mix well.
  • Now, add the cooked sevai and give a gentle mix.
  • Add grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves and give a mix.
  • Rice Vermicelli Upma is ready to be served.