Coconut sevai – Rice vermicelli upma / Thengai sevai / Idiyappam

A delicious and healthy breakfast recipe from south India

Coconut Sevai is a popular south Indian breakfast which is also known as Thengai Sevai or Thengai Idiyappam. In certain parts of south India this dish is also called as Sevai Upma. Coconut Sevai is a very simple dish made with rice vermicelli roasted in ghee and other Indian spices.  It is often served with coconut or tomato or ginger chutney and/ or pickles. The key ingredient is the Rice Sevai or rice vermicilli ( also called as rice string hoppers) which is commonly available in Indian/Asian grocery shops. Most of the other ingredients are available in Indian grocery shops.


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Coconut sevai – Rice vermicelli upma / Thengai sevai / Idiyappam

Difficulty: Beginner Cook Time 30 mins
Servings: 2


Coconut Sevai is a delicious and healthy south Indian breakfast that is made with boiled Sevai roasted in ghee and spices. 



  1. Prepare the Rice Sevai
    • Bring water to boil in a pot. Remove from heat
    • Take a separate pan and spread the Sevai
    • Pour the hot water in the pan which has the Sevai. The water should completely immerse the Sevai
    • Let it stand for 5 minutes.
    • Keep a colander ( or a strainer) in the sink. Carefully pour the Sevai with hot water into the colander.
    • Drain the water and let the Sevai rest in the colander.
  2. Adding the spices / tempering / tadka
    • Keep a large non stick pan on stove with the heat on medium level
    • Pour the cooking oil and ghee
    • When you start to see bubbles in the oil, add a few mustard seeds and check if they sputter (pop with a soft noise)
    • If the mustard seeds do not sputter, increase the heat
    • Once the oil and ghee mixture reaches the right temperature, add all the mustard seeds and let them sputter
    • Reduce the heat to lowest level
    • Add Peanuts and stir them for about 2 minutes
    • Add green chillies, dried red chillies, urad dal, chana dal and curry leaves. Keep stirring for 2 minutes 
    • Add Hing (asafoetida) and salt and stir well again
    • Add lemon juice and mix well again (Lemon juice is optional)
  3. Mix the Sevai with the tadka / spices
    • Transfer the Sevai from the colander into the pan which has the tempering
    • Keep the stove on medium heat and mix the Sevai with the tadka /  tempering
    • Add the grated coconut and mix well. 
    • Check for the salt level and add more if needed
    • Reduce the heat to low setting.
    • Close the lid on the pan and let the Sevai cook in the steam for about 6-8 minutes
  4. Prepare the toppings / garnish
    • Roast the cashews in a separate pan.
    • Add one teaspoon of ghee to get a nice aroma.
    • Chop the cilantro
  5. Serving
    • Serve the Coconut Sevai when it is still hot
    • Top the Sevai with Cashews, Cilantro and grated coconut


Coconut Sevai can be served with coconut / tomato / Ginger Chutney or Indian Pickles

Keywords: Coconut, sevai, Rice, vermicelli, upma, Thengai, Idiyappam

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