Look at menu cards of some of the restaurants that do carry some marathi dishes and you will find batata vada, kothimbeer vadi, sabudana vada and may misal. Most of the time the list just ends there. But believe me most of the Maharashtrians do have special memories of all these special treats.
Spring is the perfect time to get nice and fresh cilantro in the the local farmers market. I just love the smell of fresh cilantro. I think it was the first herb I grew as a kid. I still remember all the stages of the little herb. I remember buying 4-5-6 bunches of it on grocery shopping trips. Still this day fresh bunches of cilantro in the farmers markets remind me of my childhood. And when I buy 4-5-6 bunches, I have to make what I like the most - kothimbeer vadi. My mom's recipe is totally different than mine. This one I developed with ingredients I had on hand and the taste I loved. My mom's preparation is very similar to one Nupur has. Now here is how I make mine -
4-5 cups Packed Finely Chopped Cilantro
1 Packet Kpra Thalipeeth Bhajani
Small Golf Ball Size Tamarind
Small Golf Ball Size Jaggery
1 tbsp Garlic paste
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
Water as needed
For tempering -
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
6-7 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp each - Cumin seeds, Mustard Seeds, Turmeric
A small Pinch Asafoetida
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Sugar
Soak tamarind ball in little bit of water for 15-20 min. Squeeze all the pulp out.
Mix thalipeeth flour, sesame seeds, garlic paste, tamarind pulp, jaggery and chopped cilantro. Using little water at a time make the dough. Dough should not be very dry or watery.
Heat about one liter water in pressure cooker.
Grease a flat vessel that can fit in the cooker.
Make fist size balls (mutake) and arrange them in the greased vessel. Steam these in pressure cooker without using whistle for 15-20 minutes.
Promptly remove the vessel from cooker and let it the cool completely.
Slice each mutaka in 5-6 pieces.
Now heat oil in heavy bottom pan. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add curry leaves, turmeric powder, sesame seeds. All the seeds will start spluttering.
Now add sliced vadi and mix it thoroughly. Add red chili powder, and sugar. Let all the masalas cover most of the vadis.
Lower the heat and cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- You can use any thalipeeth bhajani and add salt, chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder according to your taste.
- You can use fresh fenugreek leaves instead of cilantro.
- These vadis can be used in a falafel sandwich instead of falafel balls.
- This can be eaten as side dish or as an appetizer.