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Instant Tomato Sevai (Easy Tomato Vermicelli Recipe)

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Instant Tomato Sevai or Tomato Sevai upma is an easy Vermicelli Breakfast or lunch Recipe. This can be made at home with easily available ingredients in as little as 15-20 minutes.

Tomato Sevai served in a grey plate, with a black and blue mat seen in the background.
Instant Tomato Sevai/Tomato Vermicelli

Today’s recipe for Tomato sevai is simple which just has onions, tomato, a few spices, and vermicelli. However one can add more veggies like peas, capsicum, corn, french beans, carrots, etc to make it a filling lunch. 

What is Vermicelli

Vermicelli is similar to spaghetti but very thin. One can call it thin noodles which can be made from wheat flour, all-purpose flour, rice, etc. In India, it is called by various names in different languages like Sweiyun, Semya, semiya, sevai etc.

Recipes with Vermicelli or Sevai

These vermicelli noodles are used to make sweet and savory dishes. Sevai kheer is very common with this or this Sheer Khurma. I also like to make this Instant Idli with Sevai and Semolina. However, one of my go-to breakfasts is this simple and delicious Tomato Sevai.

Roasted and Unroasted Vermicelli 

Typically sevai or vermicelli is roasted and then used to prepare any dish. Shops generally sell both the roasted and unroasted sevai. I like to buy the unroasted one and then roast it with some ghee or oil and store it in an airtight container.

Tomato Sevai served in a grey plate, with a black and blue mat seen in the background.
Instant Tomato Sevai/Tomato Vermicelli

Roasting and storing Vermicelli

Roasting and storing help me save time when I need it. So all I need to do is prepare the masala or the base, add water, sevai, and cook to make this yummy Tomato Vermicelli upma. For roasting, I simply roast the vermicelli in oil or ghee until lightly golden brown.

Recipe process of Instant Tomato Sevai

For making this Tomato sevai, first I do is a tadka of mustard seeds along with curry leaves and green chili. I like to add some cashews to this as it adds a nice crunch. I add this initially while doing the tempering as it cooks the cashews slightly and adds a nice color.

Next, I saute the onions until translucent and then add the tomatoes and cook it until they are slightly done. Then goes in water along with coriander. I add coriander initially as it adds a nice taste to the upma.

Once the water starts boiling I add the vermicelli and cook it on slow to medium until done. 

Few tips or problems while 

Why is my Tomato sevai soggy?

  • Too much water in the sevai makes it soggy. I like to use a 1: 1.5 ratio of Vermicelli to water. If I use double the water it adds more water and the sevai are a bit on the soggy side. But that said, sometimes depending on the sevai more or less water is required.
  • So I always add a 1:1 ratio of water initially. Then if it gets too thick I add some hot boiling water. Always add boiling water after the sevai is half cooked or else it will not be cooked properly and be mushy.
  • Cook the sevai on a medium to slow stove until half of the water is evaporated. Then cook on a slow stove, for the sevai to cook properly. If you rush this step the sevai would not be cooked properly and might be raw or uncooked.

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Tomato Sevai served in a grey plate, with a black and blue mat seen in the background.
Tomato Sevai
Tomato Sevai served in a grey plate, with a black and blue mat seen in the background.

Instant Tomato Sevai or Tomato Vermicelli upma

Instant Tomato Sevai or Tomato Sevai upma is an easy Vermicelli Breakfast or lunch recipe that can be made in as little as 10-15 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Instant, Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre


  • 1 Cup roasted Sevai/Vermicelli
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon cashews Optional
  • 1-1.5 Cups water
  • ½ Cup chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice


  • In a heavy bottom pan/pot add oil.
    1 tablespoon oil
  • Once hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
    1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    Adding Mustard Seeds in oil
  • Now add the curry leaves
    8-10 curry leaves
    Curry leaves added in oil.
  • Add the onion and green chilies.
    2-3 green chilies finely chopped
    Adding onion and green chili in oil.
  • Add the cashews if using and saute until the onions are translucent.
    1 small onion chopped, 2 tablespoon cashews
    Adding cashews in oil
  • Once the onions are cooked, add tomatoes and turmeric powder.
    1 small tomato chopped, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Cook till the tomatoes are cooked.
    Adding cashews in oil
  • Add chopped coriander.
    ½ Cup chopped coriander, 1-1.5 Cups water
    Adding coriander
  • Add 1.5 cups water, and bring the mixture to a boil. (One can first add only 1 cup and later on add the remaining half cup of water.)
    Mixture getting boiled.
  • Once the mixture starts boiling add sevai/vermicelli.
    1 Cup roasted Sevai/Vermicelli
    Adding Vermicelli in boiling mixture.
  • Mix everything and cover and cook on slow to medium mixing in between.
  • If required add hot boiling water ¼ cup at a time.
  • Once the sevai is cooked add lime juice and mix everything.
    1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
    Sevai getting cooked.
  • Switch off, cover, and let it rest for 5-10 mins.
    Cooked Tomato Vermicelli.
  • Serve



  • 1 Cup = 235 ml, 1 tablespoon= 15 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
  • Any size cup can be used, just keep the ratio the same
  • Start with 1 cup of water initially, if required add more hot boiling water.
  • Depending on the quality of sevai more or less water might be required.
  • One can add more veggies like beans, green peas etc.
  • I am using roasted vermicelli. One can buy roasted vermicelli from the shops or simply roast plain vermicelli using some oil or ghee until lightly golden brown.
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu_ad or tag #cookwithrenu_ad
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

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Recipe Rating

Mayuri Patel

Monday 27th of February 2023

Tomato sevai it is for breakfast tomorrow. I usually add mixed vegetables but like the idea of adding tomatoes. Healthy and quick meal especially now that we get roasted vermicelli.

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

All the flavors! I love this take on a pasta dish, and the idea of roasting the vermicelli.

Camilla M. Mann

Sunday 19th of February 2023

This sounds fantastic. I can't wait to try it.


Sunday 19th of February 2023

This will make a lovely Lenten meal Renu. Thanks