Another few days and I will be back to the US. I should be more excited given that I have been away from my home for more than 3 months, but its a mixed bag of feelings. I always hate leaving India. Though I have friends and my husband in the US, India is still the place I would truly want to be. Family is here. Friends are here. Life is here. Both countries have their own charm, but being an Indian at heart, I have never been the kinds who has been able to stay away from India for extended periods of time. And that is why whenever I come, I stay in India as much as I can (since I can afford to). Thankfully I have a husband who understands that and for the sake of my (and his) sanity lets me spend as much time as I want here.

Since I am almost ready to go, I thought I will get some recipes from the awesome cook we have at my parent’s place. Plus, its a delight to be able to take step by step photographs of someone else making the stuff, in comparison to what I have to do in the US, where I stop midway, clean my hands, take a picture, get back to the next step and repeat the same process of cleaning, capturing and then moving on to the next step.

So now I have a lot of masala for Garam Masala Tuesdays and hopefully unlike the past few months where this series was put on a back seat, we will see some seriously good stuff on the blog.

The recipe I am sharing today is a Maharashtrian dish called Kothimbir Vadi.

Kothimbir in maharastrian means cilantro/coriander and hence the name. This a great dish to serve as a snack, since its steamed (not fried), gluten free and vegan. Its so fluffy, and since you roast the steamed pieces in a pan before serving you get a crisp edge. Being light in taste, its very easy to keep on grabbing piece after piece.

There are several versions online which include cumin seeds and garlic and some even where you deep fry the batter. Since I am not Maharashtrian and had it for the first time during this visit, I can not testify for the authenticity of this particular recipe I am sharing today. But what I can guarantee is that if you try this recipe as is, you will not be disappointed. I had it for the first time at one of my mom’s friends place and loved it. She gave the recipe to our cook, who made it the other day when we had some guests over. My dad’s friend couldn’t stop raving about it. And every time he did so he would exclaim, ‘and it’s healthy!’, as if he couldn’t believe something so good could actually be healthy as well. So please do give this a try. Rest assured you will not be disappointed.

And since I was able to take step by step photographs easily, I am posting them. Hope they help you a little to understand the recipe, though its a pretty straight forward recipe actually.

Garam Masala Tuesdays: Kothimbir Vadi or Cilantro-Chickpea Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: appetizer, snack, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: Indian, Maharasthrian
Serves: 3-4
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro/coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cup chickpea flour/ besan
  • 3 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (til), plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 3 tbsp roasted dried coconut, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • salt, to taste
  • green chilli paste, according to level of spiciness you want
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  1. In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour, sesame seeds, dried coconut, baking powder, salt, turmeric powder well.
  2. Add the green chilli paste. And mix.
  3. Add in the water gradually, whisking to avoid lumps in the batter.
  4. Once the batter is smooth add the chopped cilantro leaves, mix well. If required add more water. The batter should be cake batter consistency. Pour the batter into a greased shallow dish. We used a steel lid (see picture above). Cover this lid with plastic wrap (see picture).
  5. To steam, this is what we did. In a dutch oven or large enough pot (see picture), pour a little water. Let the water boil a little and then put a heat proof bowl over which you can place the lid. You don't want the lid to touch the water, so you can use any heat proof dish on which you can put the lid to make sure it doesn't. Put the lid with the batter in this make-shift steamer. Cover and let steam for 15 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick for doneness. When slightly cool cut the vadi into diamond shape pieces, or however you like.
  6. When ready to serve, in a little oil, roast the pieces on a skillet and serve warm with green chutney.





9 Thoughts on “Garam Masala Tuesdays: Kothimbir Vadi or Cilantro Cakes

  1. Sneza on 5 March, 2013 at 2:42 pm said:

    I am peeking to the back of your pictures to see that it is lovely and light and warm ….somewhere! So cheering to see warm weather, if only tidbits.

  2. Love the styling and this looks like a new to me recipe. But I bet its delicious, with all of the exotic ingredients 🙂
    Kiran @ recently posted..Mirepoix Bean SoupMy Profile

  3. Being a Maharashtrain, this is one of my favorite dishes. Very well presented. We do not add sesame seeds though.

    First timer on your blog, fantastic work.

  4. Bhinee on 14 March, 2013 at 7:48 am said:

    Its a new recipe and looks yum..will try it soon :):)

  5. Looks absolutely amazing.. Wonderful shots 🙂

  6. Veronica on 15 April, 2013 at 2:45 pm said:


    This looks fabulous!
    Quick question: instead of steaming it, would it be possible to bake it ?


    • I have not tried baking it, but maybe you can. If I would try that out, I would definitely put a pot of steaming water on the rack below, so that the cake doesn’t dry out, and follow the same direction of covering it. I am really not sure whether you would get the same results, so I would suggest that you do not try it if you plan to serve to company 🙂

  7. Anusha on 16 April, 2013 at 10:26 am said:

    Love the composition of the picture. And super healthy super quick appetiser too

  8. Pingback: GMT: Khandvi and a Video Tutorial | The Novice Housewife

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