Vermicelli Sweet Corn Usli

Vermicelli Sweet Corn Usli

This is a take on vermicelli usli, also known as upma — an ideal South Indian breakfast, savory and satisfying, full of vegetables and delicate fried noodles, and seasoned with coconut and cashews. Though commonly made with carrots and peas, you can toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand. In summer, fresh corn adds plenty of crunch and sweetness, and the dish works for lunch and dinner, just as it is.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 2 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a medium pot with a fitted lid over medium heat. If the noodles are on the long side, break them up into roughly bite-size pieces. Add them to the pot, and use a wooden spoon to keep them moving so they get lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl.
  2. Step 2

    In the same pot, heat the remaining tablespoon oil over medium and fry the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the urad dal (if using), the onion, curry leaves, chile and salt. When the onion is completely softened, but not yet browned, add 1 cup water.
  3. Step 3

    As soon as the water comes to a boil, add the toasted noodles, corn kernels, cashews, cilantro and coconut; stir well. Cover, and cook on low for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Season to taste with salt and lime juice, then garnish with extra coconut and cilantro, and serve warm or at room temperature.