A family recipe for fresh cilantro croquettes: finely chop cilantro, mix with flour and spices, steam, then pan fry to crispy perfection! These super delicious kothimbir vadi or cilantro croquettes are quentissential to typical Mumbai food experience.
My mother-in-law, who visits us frequently, is from Mumbai. For years, during each visit she makes these delicious kothimbir vadi for us to enjoy. This year I thought it would be great for me to learn her secret recipe. She was super excited to make them with me.
We started with buying the freshest cilantro bunches. Then gathered all healthy ingredients: gram flour, rice flour, red chili powder, turmeric, sesame seeds and fennel seeds.
She cut off and discarded the bottom one inch of the cilantro bunches, washed them a few times to get rid of any sand in them. After getting rid of the excess water she chopped the cilantro finely.
Next we mixed all the other ingredients and added some salt to taste.
Adding a little water at a time, she then formed a soft dough.
After applying a few drops of oil to her hands she pressed the dough carefully into 3 pretty croquettes 2 inches wide and long enough to fit the pot.
She carefully placed them in a well oiled steamer pot rack. The dough is very soft so it needs to be handled carefully.
On medium heat, the croquettes were steamed until a wooden sewer inserted in the center, came out clean. At this point the kitchen was filled with the delicious aroma of the dish. I could hardly wait to try them! We could have just stopped here and ate them just steamed but I wanted to learn her complete recipe so we continued. We allowed to let them cool for 10 mins and then cut them into circular discs.
We put a griddle on medium heat, spread a little bit of oil on it and then lined up all the cut discs on it. Sprinkled some more sesame seeds and then cooked them until both sides were crispy and golden brown.
At this time, some of the croquettes started disappearing but I luckily she made enough for the rest of the family.
Prep time: 15 mins Cooking time:20 mins Total time: 35 mins
6-8 cups loosely packed cilantro
1 - ½ cup gram flour (besan)
½ cup rice flour
1 tablespoon red chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoon cooking oil
salt to taste
- Cut bottom one inch of the cilantro bunches and discard. Wash remaining cilantro few times to get rid of any sand in it. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess water. Chop it finely and put it in a big mixing bowl.
- Add half of the sesame seeds and all other ingredients(except cooking oil) to the cilantro and mix well. With a little bit water at a time make soft dough. Apply a few drops of oil to the hands and mould the dough carefully into 3 croquettes 2 inches wide and long enough to fit the pot. Carefully place them in a well oiled steamer steam pot rack.
- On medium heat, steam the croquettes for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow them cool for 10 mins. Cut them into circular discs.
- Put a griddle on medium heat, put a little bit of oil and then line up all the cut discs on the pan. Sprinkle some more sesame seeds and then cook them until both sides are crispy and golden brown. Serve hot.