I am a proper Mumbai (Bombay) girl…born, raised, educated, worked and then married in Mumbai….when I say home, I always mean Mumbai❤….and saying that obviously means I love…just lurrvvvveeee my Mumbaiya (meaning typical) street food and snacks! The hubby and I visit every happening joint, cafe …etc, etc around our city but having some of the most delicious street food is something we can never give up!
Mumbai isn’t only about Wada Pav and Bombay Pav Bhaji in terms of authentic Maharashtrian snacks. If you have ever been to Maharashtra (any part of the state), you’d be familiar with Kothambir Wadi or Kothmir Wadi (spiced, coriander and chickpea flour nuggets). Kothmir or Kothambir literally means fresh coriander leaves in Marathi and Wadi translates to nuggets. Such an easy language… I am almost too proud that I can speak it rather well…(well, I do make grammatical errors here and there but I never quit speaking the language!) 😃
The flavours are fresh and very earthy, green chillies and ginger along with other spices and ingredients make these Wadis lip smacking. Although, these are available in most local shops that sell Wada Pav or bhajias (batter fried onion or potato fritters), I always wanted to make them at home too. I probably wouldn’t have if my hubby wasn’t so crazy about them…
So I looked up a few recipes and found one which was easy and sounded a whole lot like what we usually got from outside…and they turn out quite good and crisp! I have been making there for over 2 years now…and a glass of hot lemon tea is all that I need to polish these off!
Besides, making them is no big task either….it takes less than 15 mins of prepping and just another 30 minutes of cooking! Glutenfree (uses chick pea flour along with rice flour) and vegan (has no clarified butter or yogurt), one can easily include them in their special diets without any fuss. Serve them with a dip if choice or have them on it’s own…delish!
Yield: 16 small Wadis (nuggets) using a square baking tin of 5″X 5″
Equipment: a mixing bowl, a whisk, measuring cups/ spoons, a pressure cooker/ large pot, a small metal plate, a frying pan, baking tin or any vessel to use for steaming the Wadis (nuggets), a sharp knife, a pair of tong.
1/2 cup sifted chick-pea flour (besan)
2 tbsp sifted rice flour (chawal ka atta)
salt to taste
water as needed
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 tsp chopped green chillies
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp flavour less oil (like canola or sunflower)
To pan fry: (optional, have it steamed if you wish to avoid pan frying. Also, deep frying is yet another option but I tend to avoid deep frying)
4 tbsp oil
In a mixing bowl, add the sifted flours. Season with salt. Add hing at this point. Whisk well and add little water to make a thick batter. Add the ginger paste, lemon juice, chillies, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, oil, toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves, whisk again. Add the baking soda and mix gently (don’t whisk). Grease the baking tin with some oil. Pour the batter into the greased tin and set it aside.
Heat about 2 cups of water in a large pot or pressure cooker. Keep a metal plate at the bottom of the pot/ cooker to use as a seperator.
Once the water starts boiling a bit, place the tin with the batter inside the pot/ cooker on the separator plate. Cover with a lid if you are using a pot. In case you are using a pressure cooker, remove the weight (whistle) off the lid and then secure the lid on the pressure cooker.
Cook on low flame for about 15-18 mins. Then turn off the flame and open the lid carefully. Remove the tin from the pot/ pressure cooker and using a sharp knife check if the batter has cooked, to do that, simply insert the knife in the centre of the tin, if it comes out clean, the batter has cooked (just aswe do for any cake).
Let this cool down completely. Once it has cooled, run the knife on all four sides of the tin and gently unmould it on a chopping board. Using the same sharp knife, cut it into squares. Keep them aside.
This is what it looks like post steaming. Have them just as it is..or pan fry.
To pan fry:
Heat 4 tbsp oil in a frying pan, place the squakes in the pan once the oil is hot, keep turning them around and let them crisp up on all sides. Once done, remove on absorbent kitchen paper. Serve them hot with a dip if your choice!
They keep fresh for a few hours although I have never tried to store them for very long. These make for a great party snack or even as a side dish to go with your meals!
Adapted from Nisha Madhulika