Kothimbir Vadi or Spicy Cilantro Cake is an Indian delicacy, made with fresh cilantro, chickpea flour and spiced with chili, garlic and ground turmeric.
Popular in the state of Maharashtra, these gluten-free and vegan cakes can be enjoyed as a snack, breakfast or as a side dish in an authentic Thali.
With summer around the corner, I am looking forward to visiting local farmers markets with fresh local produce, cheeses and breads. I love buying large bunches of lush green herbs for chutneys, pesto and healthy snacks like these spicy cilantro cakes.
Made with a few ingredients, these cakes are packed with flavors and are very healthy. This recipe uses the Instant Pot to steam the batter in a stainless steel bowl and is a slight variation to the original kothimbir vadi that I have posted earlier. This modified version is lighter in texture and easier with the pour and done technique.
Although, these steamed cakes taste delicious as is, pan frying them with some sesame seeds adds a crunch while keeping the moist texture inside. These mouth-watering cakes have a unique aroma and can be made-ahead. They can be refrigerated for a week and also freeze well. So go-ahead and double up the batch.
Here is a video to show the quick process. These are steamed with the vent open similar to the Rava Dhaka:
- 2 cups cilantro rinsed, dried and chopped finely (packed)
- 2 tablespoon oil divided
- 2 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon green chillies minced
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 3/4 cup besan/fine chickpea flour/gram flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda or 1/2 teaspoon of eno fruit salt optional
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Add cilantro, 1 tablespoon oil, rice flour, garlic, green chilies, turmeric, besan, salt and water to a medium bowl. Mix well.
- Add 1 ½ cups water to the Instant Pot insert. Set on Sauté mode so the water starts to heat. Heating up the water before placing the batter in the Instant Pot will result in light cakes. Make sure to do this about 5 minutes before you are ready place the batter in the Instant Pot for steaming. Boiling it for too long may cause a lot if water to evaporate.
- Grease 7-½ inch stainless steel bowl with cooking oil or spray.
- Add baking soda to the batter and mix well. Quickly pour the batter in the greased bowl. Place the bowl on the instant pot trivet and carefully place the trivet inside the Instant Pot. Note: It is important to start the steaming process within couple of minutes for the baking soda to work. Close Instant Pot lid with pressure valve to venting.
- Set Instant Pot to Steam mode, with an external timer for 12 mins. Note: Timer function does not work with Steam/Venting, so an external timer is needed.
- Once the timer goes off, Press Cancel and open the Instant Pot after 5 minutes.
- Carefuly take out the bowl. Cut into small square pieces. Pan fry with remaining oil and sesame seeds on medium heat, cooking each side for about an minute or until the sides start to turn light brown. Enjoy hot!
Baking Soda or Eno Fruit Salt add lightness to these spicy cakes. Traditional cakes do not use any leavening agent.
Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live New Jersey with my husband and two sons.