Tag Archives: vermicelli

Sevai Upma

A long time ago, Priti and I shared an apartment in Bhopal for three months, while we worked on a project at the BHEL factory.

One of the many things that made it such a memorable time was the cooking we did together.

It was also where I got my tea habit, but that is another story.

This post is about the delicious sevai (vermicelli) upma that Priti used to make, the taste of which has stayed with me all these years.

So recently I asked her to mail the recipe to me  since I had forgotten both the process and the proportions of the various ingredients.

She sent me a picture too –

Here’s what she told me to do, in her words, with  some variations of my own in parentheses.

1 generous tbsp of oil to roast the vermicelli in
1tsp mustard seeds
2-3 carrots julienned
1 green capsicum  julienned (I used red bell pepper today)
julienned hari mirchi (I had no green chillies so I used half a whole red chilli)
1 sliced onion (optional and so I cooked the upma without)
1 cup measure of  vermicelli (I used a thicker variety since the usual kind was not available the day I went looking for it)
6-7 curry leaves
2 tbsp shelled peanuts (optional and so I cooked the upma without)
lime juice
salt

Steps :
1. Roast the vermicelli in the oil on a thick bottom/non stick pan.  You have to keep stirring the vermicelli otherwise it tends to burn quickly. I like to roast it fairly dark brown but not burnt-it’s a fine line (I agree – I found myself stirring constantly !)
2. Set aside the roasted vermicelli. In the now empty pan, add another 1.5 tsp (I used a little more) of oil , then add mustard seeds and curry leaves. If you are using onion cook them until brown. Then add the vegetables, stir 4-5 times (I covered the pan for a few minutes to cook the vegetables, stirring every once in a while)
3. Add  2 cups of water, salt,the vermicelli and the peanuts .
4. Cook, covered, on low heat. Watch for the water- if it dries out and the vermicelli does not become almost double it’s original size then add some more. Sometimes I just turn off the stove and let it cook in the steam.
5. Add lime juice; the vermicelli tend to unstick once the lime juice is added so you can add the juice, leave the upma covered for a couple of minutes and then transfer to the final serving dish.

Here’s how my version looks, which I have made for lunch today.

Some of the girls’ reactions –

After the first forkful, Indira said “ummm, very nice !”

A few minutes later – “It’s delicious, and I am going to call it pasta upma” (I guess that because the thicker vermicelli I used does it make it look

a bit like spaghetti !)

And Noor says “It’s excellent, this noodles upma“.

Thank you, Priti Aunty, for a very successful lunch.

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Filed under Breakfast Ideas, Easy One Pot Cooking, Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Starters and Snacks

Sevai Kheer (aka “Pasta” Kheer)

I have not had any cooking to do today, since we are invited to eat at the home of a friend this evening.

So I decided in the afternoon that this would be a good opportunity to make some kheer for the girls’ gouter. They often have a glass of milk when they come back from school, with some fruit , or a slice of cake, or a muffin. But milk is not something Indira especially is particularly fond of; so a bowl of kheer will break the monotony in that routine.

They both like this kheer a lot, as does Shri. I often make it for dessert when we have friends at home for a meal, and most people love it.

When the girls were younger, they called it “pasta” kheer and they were not wrong, because I do in fact make it with angel hair pasta, instead of with vermicelli, which is difficult to find here. This kheer cooks fairly quickly too, which is always a plus in my book 🙂

Sevai Kheer:

6 tablespoons of sevai(vermicelli) or angel hair pasta

3 tablespoons of ghee

2 tablespoons of raisins

4-6 tablespoons of sugar (add less or more, depending on how sweet you like your kheer)

750 ml – 1 litre of milk

1 teaspoon of freshly powdered green cardamom seeds

In a thick-bottomed pan, warm the ghee, and add the vermicelli/pasta.

Fry the vermicelli for a few minutes, turning it occasionally, till it begins to acquire a light brown color. Now add the raisins, and fry everything for another couple of minutes, till the vermicelli starts to turn a darker brown. Add the milk now, and cook the mixture, stirring every few minutes, till the vermicelli is very soft. By this point, the milk will have started to thicken too, so scrape the sides of the pan every time you stir the mixture, to recover and add back the bits on the side -this is basically khoya, I guess, and certainly adds to the taste of the kheer🙂.

When the vermicelli is as soft as you’d like,add the sugar and the cardamom powder, and allow everything to cook together for another 5-7 minutes before taking it off the heat.

Ideally, the kheer should by now be a very light brown/creamy color.

This kheer sometimes thickens further by the time it cools down, so take that in to account while you are cooking it and waiting for the milk to thicken.

Eat it hot or cold – either way this kheer is quite delicious 🙂

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Filed under Desserts, Starters and Snacks