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Kothimbir Vadi, a savory cilantro cake which is first steamed and then fried until crisp. This is a quintissential Marathi dish, and I so wanted to try making it myself! I am happy to report that is very easy to make and turns out very tasty indeed. Cilantro is my favorite herb and this dish really showcases cilantro instead of giving it the seemingly superfluous role of a garnish. Kothimbir vadi can be served as a snack with any chutney but I really love eating it as a side dish with dal and rice. . The one special equipment you need to make this dish is a steamer. If you own a pressure cooker, it was be used without the "weight" to steam this vadi. The steamed vadi is perfectly fine for eating on its own (a very tasty and healthy snack indeed). Of course it tastes even better when fried and crispy :) Alternatively, if you would like something in between, make a "tadka" of oil, mustard and cumin seeds and pour over slices of steamed vadi.
Ingredients : 1 big bunch cilantro/coriander leaves (Kothimbir),
1 cup gram flour,
1 tablespoon rice flour,
1/4 cup bhajani (mixed flours such as rice flour, wheat flour, millet flour, barley flour and udad flour etc. however this is optional),
10 green chilies,
1 small piece ginger,
4 garlic cloves,
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds,
1 teaspoon roasted poppy seeds,
1 teaspoon lemon juice,
1 teaspoon turmeric powder,
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida,
1 teaspoon garam masala,
1/4 teaspoon Sodium Bicarbonate (Soda),
salt to taste,
Oil for frying,
1. Chop coriander leaves finely. Mix in gram flour, bhajani and rice flour.
2. Grind chilies, ginger and garlic into a fine paste. Add this paste, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, lemon juice, garam masala, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt to the above mixture.
3. Add some water to make a thick batter (dosa batter consistency) and mix well. Remove the lumps.
4. Grease a flat vessel. Pour the batter into the vessel.
6. In a pressure cooker, steam (without using the weight) for about 25 minutes.
Or grease a microwavable container and pour the batter into it. Steam the batter for 5-7 minutes (Microwave settings may vary)
7. Remove and insert a needle or knife in the center of the batter to check if it is done. If it comes out clean, the batter is completely cooked. Let cool and cut into square shaped pieces.
8. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Deep fry the pieces in hot oil. Remove when golden brown and crisp. Serve hot as an appetizer.
Bhajani enhances the flavor but is optional in this recipe.