Have you ever tried Maharashtrian Kothimbir Vadi? It is easy to make and crispy, delicious snack that goes well with chutney or a cup of tea/coffee.
Cilantro leaves or Coriander leaves are called ‘Kothimbir’ in the Marathi language. It is savory cilantro fritters that are steamed first, sliced and then fried into oil till crisp.
Traditional kothimbir vadi is deep fried. But to make it little healthy, I have shallow fried them. To make it even more healthy, the frying step can be skipped. Yes, that is right. Steamed vadis are also tasty.
Taste & Texture:
- It has full of cilantro flavor. But these vadis are cooked twice, so there is not strong rawness of cilantro flavor.
- It is medium spicy with a little garlicky flavor.
- Steamed kothimbir vadi are soft and light. Once fried, they become crispy around the edges and soft from inside
There is a similar snack recipe from Gujarat, it is methi muthia. but is made from fenugreek leaves, not coriander leaves.
Preparing cilantro to make kothimbir vadi:
- Take a medium-sized bunch of cilantro (approx. 85-90 grams or 3 oz). Pluck the leaves and discard the stems. Also, discard the wilted and yellow looking leaves.
- Dunk and swish the cilantro leaves into the bowl of water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. So all the dirt will settle down at the bottom of the bowl.
- Remove the leaves without disturbing the water too much. If the leaves are very muddy then you may need to do above step again and again till the water is almost clear.
- Spread the washed leaves on the kitchen towel. Pat dry or let it dry on its own.
- Then chop them finely using a sharp knife. Keep them aside in a bowl.
How to make Maharashtrian Kothimbir vadi?
- Take ginger, garlic and green chilies in a blender jar. Do not add any water.
- Grind it into a coarse paste.
- Now into the bowl of chopped cilantro, add besan, rice flour, prepared ginger-garlic-green chili paste, salt, baking soda, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and sesame seeds.
- Now using your hand, mix the flour and leaves very well.
- Now add little water at a time and knead into a dough. NOTE: because of the besan, the dough will be sticky, so scrap the sticky dough from your fingers, hand. Then wash the hands, apply oil on your plam and knead it again to make a smooth dough.
- Heat a glassful or two of water in the steamer and bring it to simmer. Apply oil on the steamer rack and your palm. Divide the dough into two portions and make around 6-inch cylinder log. Arrange on the steamer rack a few inches apart. So there will be room for them to expand.
- Steam for around 17-18 minutes. Insert a knife or toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean meaning it is ready.
- Remove it and let it cool to touch. Then slice into half inch thick slices.
- Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a pan for shallow frying. Once hot place a few slices.
- Once golden brown and crispy from the bottom, flip them and fry another side.
- Once fried from both sides, remove them and place them on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.
- Serve them warm or at room temperature.
- Kothimbir vadi is served as a breakfast, evening snack or as a side crunch along with the meal.
- It tastes good with a side of green coriander chutney and tomato ketchup or coconut chutney.
- It can be served with a hot cup of chai (tea) or coffee.
Avoid dense textured kothimbir vadi using below tips:
- The cilantro leaves should be dry and free of moisture. So make sure to plan ahead, wash the leaves, spread on a towel to dry completely. Or use the salad spinner if in rush.
- If there is moisture in the coriander leaves then besan will stick to the leaves and form a lumpy dough which results in dense vadi.
- Addition of rice flour is a must. If there is any little moisture present in the leaves, rice flour will absorb that and besan will not form any lumps.
- Do not add all the water at once. Add little by little. If you have added extra water then you might need to add more besan. And that results in dense texture.
- Always steam on medium flame. Not too high not too low. Otherwise it becomes hard and dense.
- Add a pinch of baking soda. It makes the kothimbir vadi light and soft.
Crispy Kothimbir Vadi Recipe (Maharashtrian Snack)
For Kothimbir Vadi Recipe:
- 1 bunch Cilantro or coriander leaves approx 85-90 grams or 3 oz or 2 cups loosely packed
- 2 Green chilies
- ½ inch Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 cup Besan (Gram flour)
- ¼ cup Rice flour
- Salt to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons Sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons Water
- 6 tablespoons Oil for shallow frying
- Pluck the leaves and discard the stems.
- Wash the leaves very well by dunking them into the water.
- Spread the washed leaves on the kitchen or paper towel, pat dry the leaves. If you have time then let them dry on their own.
- Chop the cilantro leaves and keep them aside.
- Make a coarse paste of ginger, garlic, green chilies without adding any water.
Making Kothimbir Vadi Recipe:
- Take chopped cilantro, besan, rice flour, salt, baking soda, prepared paste, spices (red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder) and sesame seeds in a bowl.
- Mix thoroughly using your fingers and thumb.
- Then add little water at a time and knead into a dough. Because of besan it can become sticky, so you may need to wash your hand, apply oil on your palm and knead into a smooth dough.
- Prepare the steamer by adding a glassful or two of water and let it come to a simmer. Grease the steamer tray.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll into 6-inch cylinder logs.
- Arrange the logs in a steamer tray a few inches apart.
- Steam for 17-18 minutes. Check by inserting a knife or toothpick in the center. It should come out clean.
- Remove it from the steamer, let it cool to touch, then slice into half inch thick slices.
- Deep fry or shallow fry them into oil till they are light golden brown crispy from both sides.
- Remove it to a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil and serve them warm or at room temperature.
Steam kothimbir vadi in instant pot:
- Turn on the instant pot with saute mode. Add around 2 glasses of water in the inner pot of instant pot and let the water come to a boil.
- Grease the plate or container with oil that fits into your instant pot. Arrange the logs in it few inches apart.
- Once the water starts boiling, Place a rack in the inner pot and on top place the plate/container that contains vadi logs.
- Cover with the lid, keep valve to the venting position. Or you can use the regular glass lid instead.
- Cancel the saute mode, start the steam mode. Put the external timer for 17 minutes.