Saturday, 21 January 2017

Kothimbir Vadi (Cilantro/Coriander Fritters)

Hello all!!!!! Today I will be sharing the recipe of an Indian snack which brings back fond memories of Mumbai.  😃

Being born and raised in Mumbai and surrounded by Maharashtrian friends had its perks cause I got to eat some delicious food. I love love Maharashtrian food, be it vada pav, misal pav, komdi vade, puran poli, sabudana vada, kande pohe or just the plain old amti bhaat. And Kothimbir Vadi is one such favorite Maharashtrian snack item of mine. Kothimbir Vadi or Cilantro/Coriander Fritters is a popular Maharashtrian snack and I absolutely love munching this with a cup of hot ginger chai. There is an old bakery near my home in India which makes delicious Kothimbir vadis and this used to be one of the regular evening snack at my house and I made sure I grabbed some hot hot vadis on my way back home from college. 

Kothimbir Vadis are made using lots of cilantro/coriander leaves, gram flour and spices which is then steam cooked, cut and then shallow fried or deep fried. Kothimbir is the Marathi word for cilantro or coriander leaves. These crispy crunchy fritters are gluten free and can be a healthy snack if it is just pan fried rather than deep fried. My mother in law taught me how to prepare these yummy vadis. This recipe has the perfect amount of cilantro and gram flour. There are other ways of making these vadis which calls for more gram flour in comparison to the cilantro leaves and a batter is made rather than a dough which is then steamed. But I like it this way since the flavor of cilantro/coriander stands out and also has the perfect balance of gram flour (besan). So lets check out the recipe. 💁





Ingredients:

3 - 4 bunch of cilantro leaves/coriander leaves washed (roughly 4 cups)
2 cups of gram flour (besan)
1 tsp of green chili crushed
1 - 2 tsp of grated ginger
1-1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tbsp of roasted peanut powder (optional)
2 tsp of sesame seeds
Salt to taste
2 - 3 tbsp of water or as required
Oil for pan frying or shallow frying

Method:

1) Separate the cilantro leaves from its stem. Wash thoroughly and squeeze out all the excess water. Spread them onto and paper towel. Pat dry and let it air dry for sometime. 

2) Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and add it to a big bowl. To the chopped cilantro leaves add crushed green chili, grated ginger, cumin seeds, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, roasted peanut powder (if you are allergic or do not like peanut this is optional) and salt to taste. Mix everything nicely and keep it side for 5 mins. 

3) Now start adding the gram flour to the chopped cilantro mixture little at a time (approx half a cup at a time) and start kneading with your hands. If you feel the mixture is dry and needs water add very little at a time around 1 tsp or so and keep kneading until you use up 2 cups of gram flour (besan) and the mixture forms a soft dough. (As shown in the pic below)


4) Apply oil to your hands and carefully divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal balls. Make logs out of the balls (As shown in the picture below). I made 3 logs since my steamer is small in size and can only fit 2 at time. Also keep in mind that the logs will expand a little when steaming. 

5) Get you steamer ready with water. I used Idli steamer for this. Once the water is boiling place the cilantro logs into the steamer plate and stem cook them for 15 - 20 minutes or till they are completely cooked. 

6) Remove the cilantro logs from the steamer and let them cool completely. 

7) Once cooled cut them into small discs. 

8) And then pan fry, shallow fry or deep fry these discs as desired. I pan fried them with 2 - 3 tbsp of oil. 



Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney and enjoy these crispy yummy fritters with your evening cup of hot chai or coffee. 




Friday, 6 January 2017

Swiss Chard Stir Fry (Swiss Chard Paruppu Thoran)

Happy New year everyone 😃

I am going to keep my first post of 2017 simple and healthy by sharing an easy everyday side dish recipe. This is a very simple recipe and works best on days when you just want something with less oil and masala. 

After moving to US I really miss the fresh green leafy vegetables that we get in India. It is really difficult to find really good and fresh leafy vegetables in Indian stores here and the varieties sometimes are limited to spinach and methi. It is only recently that I stumbled upon some good drumstick leaves. Anyhow all of this prompted me to try the local leafy vegetables available here in US. So far I have tried Collard greens, Kale (curly ones and plain ones) and Swiss chard. And I must tell you that amongst these Swiss chard is by far my favorite. Swiss chard is not only delicious but is also rich in vitamin A, K and C. It also has significant content of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron. 
I always have a bunch of swiss chard in my weekly grocery list. I just love the flavor of swiss chard compared to the other greens. Also it goes without saying that it makes very delicious thoran. You can easily replace the swiss chard in this recipe with collard greens, kale, cabbage, cauliflower or longs beans. I have already shared long beans thoran earlier on my blog (you can find the recipe here) the only difference in this recipe is that I have included split bengal gram (chana dal) and ginger in this recipe. So lets get cooking shall we?







Ingredients:

2 medium bunch of Swiss Chard or 1 big bunch (I used rainbow chard for this recipe you can use any like red, rainbow or green)
1/2 cup of par boiled split bengal gram/chana dal (cooked till al dente, do not overcook)
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
4 - 5 curry leaves
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1 - 2 tsp of oil
Salt to taste

For the coconut masala
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1 -2 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
1 - 2 green chilies
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder




Method:

1) First prep the swiss chard leaves. Wash the leaves thoroughly. Tear or cut the leaves and separate it from the stalks. Chop the stalks into small pieces and keep this aside. 

For easy chopping of the leaves, stack one leaf over other, do this with as many leaves as you can and then roll it and then chop it as finely as possible. No hard and fast rule on chopping it finely. Keep it as big or small as you want. Keep the chopped leaves and stalks separately. Also chop the onion and keep it aside.

2) Now in a mixer/blender bowl add the grated coconut, garlic, ginger, green chilies, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Give it a few pulse until all the ingredients are nicely combined. You just need to give it 2 - 3 pulse else it will form a paste and we don't want that.

3) In a wide pan or kadai heat oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the curry leaves and chopped onions. Saute for few mins till the onions turn translucent.


4) Now add the stalks, saute and cook it for a min or two. The stalks should be added before adding the leaves as it takes a bit more time to cook as compared to the leaves.

5) Now add the prepared coconut masala and the cooked split bengal gram/chana dal.  Saute for a minute till the raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away.

6) Finally add the chopped leaves and salt to taste and mix everything thoroughly. Cook on a low to medium for 10- 12 mins until the leaves are nicely cooked and looks a little dry.

That's it. Serve hot as a side dish with chapatis, rotis or with rice and any curry.





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