Mamta's Kitchen

Savoury Indian Vermicelli 1 with Peas or Other Vegetables

Namkeen Sevian or Upma 1

Mamta Gupta

A popular dish for breakfast in Northern India. It can also be served as a light lunch or snack, or as a side dish in a party. Other vegetables like diced carrots and potatoes can also be used instead of or along with potatoes. Serves 4


  • 1 cup Indian vermicelli or senvian, or Italian vermicelli that are in 1-2 inch pieces

  • 1-2 green chillies chopped

  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger chopped (optional)

  • A handful of green peas if in season or frozen peas*

  • 1-2 tbs. fried onions, optional (ready fried onions can be bought from Indian stores)

  • Salt to taste (approximately 1tsp)

  • Red chillies to taste or 1/2 tsp (optional)

  • 2 cups water

  • For tempering:

  • 1 tbs. cooking oil

  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds (rai)

  • 6-7 curry leaves (not bay leaves)

  • Alternative tempering:

  • 1 tbs. cooking oil

  • 1 tsp. carom or ajwain seeds

  • A pinch of asafoetida or hing


  1. Heat oil in a wok and fry vermicelli until nicely browned. Try to do this on medium heat, even if this takes a little while longer. Burnt vermicelli taste bitter! Keep aside.

  2. Peel, wash and chop ginger.

  3. Chop chillies.

  4. Boil water.

  5. Heat oil in the frying pan or Kadhai.

  6. Add mustard seed and cover until spluttering finishes, otherwise seeds will go every where!

  7. Add ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and fry for 10-15 seconds

  8. Add onions and fry until light-medium brown.

  9. Add other vegetables used and fry for another 5 minutes or so.

  10. Add vermicelli and fry to mix well, about 5 minutes. Add water (boiled water is better but not essential), salt and red chilli powder. Bring to boil.

  11. Simmer until all water is absorbed.

  12. Continue stirring for a bit longer until the oil separates or the vermicelli look shinny.

  13. Serve with Mango Pickle, or some other pickle. Mango & Asafoetida Pickle goes really well with it.


  • *Experiment with other vegetables like diced carrot cubes, tiny cauliflower florets, finely diced potatoes, edamame beans etc.. Cut large vegetables into small pieces and parboil lightly.

  • You can also add 1-2 small chopped tomatoes. Add to fried onions. Continue frying only until tomatoes are softened. Add towards the end of cooking, otherwise onions loose their 'fried' flavour.

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