Most days tend to be punctuated by the usual meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. But every few days I like to mix it up a little. I tend to skip breakfast and instead brunch takes centerstage. This is when I like getting creative, not necessarily with fancy ingredients but store cupboard classics. This Masala Vermicelli is a brunch worthy dish that I made a couple of weeks ago when I didn’t have much in the fridge but was super hungry.
Vermicelli is such a versatile ingredient and one with an interesting history too. I’ve been obsessed more recently on understanding the history of an ingredient that I so casually pick up and cook with. Vermicelli is one such ingredient which both Italy and China claim to have originated from. Its like the chicken and egg question. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly where the vermicelli originated from. Was it from the noodle or the pasta. I’m just glad that at some point when the Arabs traded with India, vermicelli got introduced to the Indian subcontinent. Ever since, vermicelli co-exists in both the sweet and savoury worlds. Vermicelli Kheer, vermicelli cooked in fragrant cardamom infused milk with dried fruits is one of those sweet treats!
Growing up, Masala Vermicelli or Seviyaan Upma was a breakfast staple. It also got made during tiffin time, that time in the early evening late afternoons. A perfect companion to your cup of tea or filter coffee.
My Masala Vermicelli is the result of not having too many ingredients at home and still wanting a delicious treat. I chopped up and roasted green chillies, ginger, an onion and coriander leaves in a hot pan. To this , I added curry leaves and the ‘masala’. Turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Finally a sprinkling of Garam Masala powder and then in went the Vermicelli and some green peas. Add hot water, season and cover to cook for a couple of minutes.
Voila, my version of Masala Vermicelli was ready. It took not more than 15 minutes to whip up this dish. Do give this dish a try and don’t forget to get creative with it, add your own choice of vegetables such an green peppers, tomatoes, or even sweetcorn.