Kothimbir Wadi | Cilantro Chickpea Fritters | InstantPot

Cilantro Fritters or Kothimbir wadi is a popular, traditional Maharashtrian healthy, crispy snack recipe. It’s delectable non fried snack of cilantro leaves, chickpea flour and delicious herbs and spices. Ideal tea time snack or side dish. Glutenfree, vegan and non fried recipe.

Growing up in India, my mom often used to make it to serve along with masala tea when we had guests over.

Traditionally, it used to be made by steaming and then deep frying the batter cut into squares. I prefer to make it healthier by steaming the batter, cutting it into pieces and then just tampering it with oil and spices.

Doing so, it doesn’t compromise the taste at all. Guilt free snack is always better especially if it has nostalgic quotient to it.

When we visit Pune, there are few regional delicacies one has try before leaving. There are few joints which have been serving these delectable treats forever. Eating Kothimbir wadi and Shabudana Wada, Bakarwadi and Misal at “Vadeshwar “ is one of those places. They make some awesome scrumptious food at this place. Just the thought of it makes me want to go back there. For now I will settle for making my own instead. !!

Kothimbir means cilantro or coriander which is the main ingredient in this recipe. Wadi ( vadi) is pieces or cubes cut out of batter.

There is also very similar recipe called Alu Vadi or patra or patrode recipe which is prepared from colocasia leaves. I often see colocasia leaves in Indian grocery stores so if you like those, you could make Alu wadi or Patra with same recipe. Serve this as a snack or appetizer along with steaming hot Masala Chai.

When I was looking up the nutritional information for cilantro, I was very impressed. Cilantro and its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood. It also is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; provide about 258% of DRI. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building. Instead of using just a garnish for many Indian dishes, I prefer to generously use it in salad and curries. This recipe also includes generous amounts of cilantro.

Let’s make some yummy kothimbir wadi. Shall we?

Ingredients :

1 cup packed chopped cilantro leaves

1 cup chickpea flour ( besan)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp Ajwain Seeds (carom seeds or Bishop’s weed)
1 tsp sesame seeds
pinch of asafetida
2 tbsp yogurt
Salt to taste

For Tampering:

1 Tbsp cooking oil
½ tsp each mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds
½ tsp Turmeric powder

Directions :

Instant Pot

In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour and chopped cilantro and yogurt. Slowly add water while stirring the mixture to make sure there are no lumps. Add all other spice ingredients. Mix well. The consistency of the batter should be smooth paste or soft dough.

We are using a PIP ( pot in pot) method in Instant Pot. Put a cup of water in main pot. Place a trivet in the main pot.

Grease the container with little oil and pour the batter in the container that can fit inside the main pot. Put the container on the trivet. Close the lid. Venting to sealed position. Manual 4 high pressure. Once it beeps when done, do QPR. Quick Pressure Release.

Let the pan cool down a bit. Run a knife through the side of the pan and cut the cooked batter in diagonal shapes and remove from the pan. It should come out easily.

Empty the water from the main pot. Dry the main pot and put it back in IP. Turn the Sauté on Medium heat.

Heat oil. After few seconds oil gets hot, add cumin, mustard and sesame seeds. Add turmeric powder. Carefully put all the cut pieces into the pan and gently stir it few time till all the pieces absorb all the oil and tempering mixture. About 3-4 minutes.

Cancel sauté and remove the pieces on the dish. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves if desired and serve!!

Stovetop/ Pressure Cooker
In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour and chopped cilantro and yogurt. Slowly add water while stirring the mixture to make sure there are no lumps. Add all other spice ingredients. Mix well. The consistency of the batter should be smooth paste or soft dough.

Put 1 cup of water in Pressure cooker and start the heat on stovetop. Place a trivet in the cooker.

Grease the container with little oil and pour the batter in the container that can fit inside the cooker. Put the batter container on the trivet. Close the lid. Let it build pressure and get to a whistle. Shut the gas off after 1 whistle. Wait 5 minutes and release the pressure by lifting the whistle til all the steam is released. Open the lid and take out the cooked batter container.

Let the pan cool down a bit. Run a knife through the side of the pan and cut the cooked batter in diagonal shapes and remove from the pan.
Empty the water from the cooker. Turn on the medium heat. Add oil in the cooking pan. When oil is hot, add cumin, mustard and sesame seeds. Add turmeric powder. Carefully put all the cut pieces into the pan and gently stir it few time till all the pieces absorb all the oil and tempering mixture. About 3-4 minutes. Remove the pieces on the dish.

Garnish with additional cilantro leaves if desired and serve!!

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