Kothimbir Vadi is an excellent delicious snack from the Maharashtrian cuisine made with besan flour (chick peas flour) tempered with mustard, cumin seeds, ajwain, hing for flavouring spiced with crushed green chillies and lots of kothimbir (freshly chopped coriander leaves) added to form a batter and is steamed and then fried as fritters. Kothimbir vadi can be served with tomato ketchup or sauce.
Kothimbir vadi is a wonderful starter snack that is extremely popular among Maharashtrians and often prepared in most Maharashtrian homes served with steaming hot masala tea. It tastes yummy, crispy on the outer side and soft inside, irresistible and lip smacking. There are various versions of making this dish.
Kothimbir in Marathi means coriander leaves and vadi means fritters, hence the name Kothimbir vadi. As the besan flour is cooked or steamed cooked and then deep fried, this keeps the exterior part of Kothimbir vadi crispy and interior soft, yummy and tasty. This delicious vadi can also be served with garlic chutney, coconut chutney, tomato sauce or a hot cup of tea. It is generally made when kothimbir is available in abundance.
The kothimbir vadi is flavourful, mildly spiced and the flavours of coriander along with spices bring out the aroma which would naturally tickle your taste buds craving for more. They are fresh, nutritious and crispy fritters prepared with fresh coriander leaves. Coriander leaves is the main ingredient in this recipe which is truly earthy and flavourful.
Kothimbir is referred to as coriander leaves, Chinese parsley or cilantro (particularly in North America). Kothimbir is a vital ingredient in many South Asian recipes. They are used as garnish over salads, curries, stews etc. Kothimbir can also be made into spicy chutney adding few green chilies and other ingredients. They are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. They are generally used in large amounts and cooked until the flavour diminishes.
Fresh coriander leaves is mostly used as an herb and has enormous medicinal properties. In southern India it is used in preparing the rasam that helps in digestion and getting rid of gas. Coriander also seems to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It seems to help prevent infection of wounds, and can also be ground into a paste to treat rashes.
Kothimbir vadi as a starter snack is extremely popular and is found in many eateries that pride themselves in Marathi cuisine. Kothimbir vadi is a savory cilantro cake which is first steamed and then deep fried until crisp. This is a quintessential Maharashtrian dish. Coriander is a flavourful herb and this dish truly showcases this ingredient instead of giving it the seemingly superfluous role of a garnish. The steamed or cooked vadi is perfectly fine for eating on its own (a very tasty, healthy and nutritious snack), but is liked when it is shallow fried in oil as it gets crispy edges and takes this snack to a complete new level. It tastes very good when eaten along with green chutney, tamarind chutney or even ketchup.
Apart from the Kothimbir vadi, there are also other popular snacks from the cuisine of Maharashtra such as Misal pav, Alu Vadi, Sabudana vada (fritter made with sago), Chivda (spiced flattened rice), Kanda Pohe (pohe prepared with onion), vada pav ( fried mashed potato dumpling eaten sandwiched in a bun), Pav Bhajji etc. Maharashtrian cuisine like most of the Indian cuisines is laced with lots of fritters.
To prepare this mouth-watering Kothimbir vadi, firstly make a batter of besan flour adding little water and ensure that it is free of lumps. The batter should be thick of pouring consistency.
In a pan, heat little oil for tempering, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, ajwain (do not brown them or else they would turn bitter), crushed garlic and ginger, crushed green chillies, pinch asafoetida (hing), jeera powder, garam masala and mix well (these spices are used for flavouring the vadis). Pour in the besan batter stirring continuously until the batter thickens and become a thick paste without forming lumps (reduce the heat if necessary).
When the batter starts thickening, add salt, chopped coriander leaves, roasted peanut powder and mix well. Add little oil and keep mixing till it forms to a thick paste. Grease a tray and pour this mixture into the tray and spread evenly (as shown in video).
Cool this mixture and cut them into desired shapes. Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying and when the oil is hot, fry the besan pieces until crispy and golden. Drain oil from the fritters and remove on paper towel. Serve this hot with tomato ketchup or sauce.
Tip – When you are expecting a lot of guest then you can prepare the vadis beforehand and fry them just before serving.
To taste the flavours of Maharashtra, just go ahead and click the link for the recipe of this dish: