Simple Seviya or Vermicelli recipe for kids

Nutritious seviya / semiya for kids
Nutritious seviya / semiya for kids

It is one of those trying times when the kid refuses to eat almost anything offered to him, that you hit rock bottom as a frustrated mother! There are of course exceptions to their don’t-like-anything phase: Mac ‘n’ cheese! Seriously??  That orange sticky gooey ‘stuff‘? It was after one such tantrum that I hatched this evil (read ‘noble’) plan to cheat (not really) my kids with something that slips down their throats with minimal effort, yet get them to eat their veggies. (I know, they could thank me later!)

So I found my answer in semiya or vermicelli, a form of thin noodles used widely in Indian dishes like semiya upma (savory) and kheer (sweet porridge). This simplified version of the recipe worked for me. And I could see the mom-evil-laughter behind my matter-of-fact straight poker face! The pleasure of outwitting your kids by making them eat what you want them to: priceless!

Recipe Outline My standard simple recipe is driven by three factors:

1) Nutritious: enough fresh veggies per serving. My staple – broccoli, celery and carrots. Might add tofu at times for protein. Nuts added at times.
2) texture should be buttery and slimy
3) flavor should be just the right mix of salt-pepper-ghee. Neither too hot/spicy, nor bland.
That said, once the vermicelli is roasted in ghee, you could add any veggies you would like to experiment with, as long as the final product doesn’t lose the texture or taste suitable for kids.

Basic ingredients- kids Seviyan recipe
Basic ingredients- kids Seviyan recipe

Basic Ingredients:

3/4 cup vermicelli
1 cup broccoli cut in small florets
1 cup diced celery
1 cup peeled, grated carrot
1 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


Optional ingredients

-1/2 to 3/4 cup tofu. Season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp honey mustard, pinch of pepper.

-1/4 cup Crushed nuts- cashews and or almonds and or walnuts.

-Some shredded cheese (currently the Mexican Taco seasoning cheese is a household favorite).

-Some ghee before serving.


1. Cut vegetables, crush nuts, squeeze out water from the tofu, crumble and season. Set aside.
Put 1&1/4 cups of water to a boil in the microwave at step 5.

2. Add ghee to a thick bottom pan. Add some crushed pepper followed by vermicelli. Roast on a medium to low flame until the color changes to light brown. They could quickly burn, so be fully attentive and keep stirring.

3. Once brown, add nuts and roast for a minute.

4. Add all the veggies and roast another minute.

5. Add the boiling water, salt and cover. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook for 5 minutes for el dente.
(I would add a little more water and cook slightly longer when my younger one didn’t have many teeth. Would also powder the nuts then). If there’s still some water left, cook uncovered for a minute of so until it evaporates.

Vermicelli is ready.

6. Mix in the seasoned tofu to the pan now, if you’d like. (No need to ‘cook’ tofu, but you could mix in and cover to let it sit for a minute in the steaming vermicelli.)
7. Add some ghee and / or shredded cheese in the plate before serving.

Keeping it simple…

I believe there is a life cycle for everything. Be it for products, for trends or for ones passions etc. Growing up, I saw myself sway to extremes in emotions, in likes and in dislikes. This took me to heights of pleasure and depths of disillusionment. My father, who (I now think) was rightly conferred the degree of Doctor of “philosophy”, would always advocate Aristotles “Golden Mean“. But to me, it didn’t mean more than a theoretical concept! Guess I must have been in the initial stages of my “life cycle” then…

I went through my extremes. My highs and my lows..

However, the recent past has seen me more or less settle on the “Golden Mean”. Of moderation. Of simplicity. Of overall peace – with myself.

I realized that simplicity is the key. Simplicity in perception, in behavior and in overall living. I discovered that simplicity is beauty. Simplicity is peace. Simplicity is Truth. Simplicity is a kin to Godliness. It is highest of virtues. All human beings go through their own life cycle of learnings. They have their own struggles to go through, their unique battles to fight. Simplicity would be a big panacea for most problems. To me, even to have a perspective to understand the nobility of the concept means a big step towards achieving it.

Reminds me of Rajesh Khannas wonderful line from the legendary film Bawarchi : “It is so simple to be happy, but so difficult to be simple”.

Its simple; simply keep it simple!