Ragi Semiya Upma| Instant Finger Millet Vermicelli

Ragi Semiya Upma is a delicious and easy-to-make breakfast dish, which is perfect on its own or along with some chutney. It refers to finger millet vermicelli cooked the South Indian way, instantly, without any prior preparation. It works well as a light dinner, too!

Ragi Semiya Upma

The health benefits of millets are well known. If you are thinking of incorporating more millets into your diet, Ragi Semiya Upma is an easy and flavourful way of doing so. It is a filling, hearty and satisfying dish.

You get several brands of ready-to-use ragi vermicelli these days – pick up a couple of packs of these, and putting together this upma is a matter of minutes. Sadly, though, some of these millet vermicelli packs contain refined flour (maida).

Today, let me take you through the process of making Ragi Semiya Upma.

Other recipes using ragi

Looking for other ragi-based recipes? There are a few on my blog, which might interest you. Take a look at my recipes for Ragi Roti, Ragi Onion Dosa, Thai-Style Ragi Vermicelli Salad, and Instant Ragi Kuzhi Paniyaram.

Ingredients used in Ragi Semiya Upma

While more elaborate versions are possible, the Ragi Semiya Upma we make at home is very simple, including only a few ingredients.

We use store-bought dry ragi vermicelli to make the upma. The one from Anil brand (shown in the picture below) works well for us. Ragi vermicelli is quite delicate, and one needs to handle it carefully so as to get the right texture of upma – non-sticky, soft and fluffy (see the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section of this post for details on how to achieve this).

Anil Ragi Vermicelli, the brand I use

Finely chopped onions are added in, as is a simple tempering of mustard, asafoetida and curry leaves. We use a couple of green chillies for some mild heat. Fresh grated coconut, coriander and lemon juice take the flavour quotient up by several notches.

How to make Ragi Semiya Upma

Here’s how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves about 4):

1. 1 pack of ragi vermicelli, about 180 grams

2. 2 medium-sized onions

3. 2-3 green chillies

4. 2 sprigs of curry leaves

5. 3/4 tablespoon oil

6. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

7. 2 pinches of asafoetida

8. Salt to taste

9. 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

10. 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

11. Juice of 1 small lemon or to taste


Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left: Step 4, Bottom centre and right: Step 5

1. Take the ragi vermicelli in a large vessel. Add in enough cold water to cover it completely. Let it soak for 3 minutes.

2. Once the vermicelli is done soaking, transfer it to a colander. Let all the water drain out.

3. Take water in a steamer and set it on high flame. Grease the steamer plate and keep it ready.

4. In the meantime, peel the onions and chop them finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep the curry leaves handy.

5. When the water in the steamer has come to a rolling boil, keep the greased plate inside. Spread the drained ragi vermicelli evenly over the plate. Close the steamer. Let the vermicelli steam on high flame for 5 minutes, then switch off gas.

Top left and centre: Steps 6 and 7, Top right and bottom left: Step 8, Bottom centre and right: Steps 9 and 10

6. After 5 minutes, remove the steamed vermicelli and allow it to cool. When it has cooled down enough for you to touch comfortably, gently fluff it up with your hands.

7. Now, we will start preparing the Ragi Semiya Upma. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and let them sputter. Add in the asafoetida and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

8. Add in the chopped onion at this stage. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute for 2-3 minutes or till the onions are cooked.

9. Add the fluffed-up ragi vermicelli to the pan now, along with the slit green chillies. Turn the flame down to low.

10. Add in salt to taste. Mix gently.

Top left and right: Steps 11 and 12, Bottom right: Step 13, Bottom left: Step 14

11. Saute on low flame for just about a minute, then switch off gas.

12. Mix in the fresh grated coconut and finely chopped coriander.

13. Mix in the lemon juice. Your Ragi Semiya Upma is ready.

14. Transfer the upma to serving plates. Serve immediately, on its own or with chutney. This Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney goes very well with the upma.

Dietary Guidelines

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan recipe, suited to people following a plant-based diet.

This upma is not gluten-free because the vermicelli includes refined wheat flour and also because asafoetida has been used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour.

Do check the ingredients listed on the vermicelli package to ensure that they meet your dietary requirements.

I’m no health expert, but know that, considering the numerous health benefits they possess, millets are being touted as a great replacement for wheat and rice. However, if you are planning to consume millets regularly, it would be advisable to consult with a doctor and/or dietician before doing so. This is especially so if you have health issues.

Tips & Tricks

1. There are several brands of ragi vermicelli available in stores these days. I typically use the one from a brand called Anil (not sponsored). I have outlined above the way Anil ragi vermicelli needs to be cooked. If you are using another brand, cook the vermicelli as per the instructions on the package.

2. Do not soak the vermicelli for longer than the specified time or steam it for more than 5 minutes (as specified in the instructions on the package). This might cause the vermicelli to become soggy.

3. Allow the cooked vermicelli to cool down well, before using it to make upma. Using hot vermicelli will make the upma soggy.

4. I have used only onions in this upma. You may add in other vegetables if you so prefer. Carrot and peas are great additions.

5. Do not overcook the ragi vermicelli. Once the onions are cooked, the vermicelli needs to be mixed in on low flame and sauteed for just about a minute. Overcooking causes the vermicelli to turn hard.

6. Adjust the quantity of lemon juice and green chillies as per personal taste preferences.

7. I have used my Prestige Multi-Purpose Kadhai to steam the ragi vermicelli (not sponsored). You can even do the same using idli plates in a pressure cooker, without putting the whistle on.

8. Be generous with the onions – don’t skimp on them. Finely chopped and well-sauteed onions are what gives this upma a lovely flavour.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney| Green Coconut Chutney

If you have eaten often enough at the small local restaurants – called ‘Darshinis‘ – that are spread across Bangalore, chances are you would have been served this delectable green-coloured coconut chutney along with your thatte idlis, open butter masala dosas, vadas or khara bath. This is one of the ways coconut chutney is made in Karnataka, sometimes with a tinge of sweet to it. I adore this chutney and, in today’s post, am going to share exactly how to go about making it.

Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney. Just how pretty is that green?!

What goes into Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney?

This chutney is a variation of the Basic Coconut Chutney recipe I had shared on the blog some time ago.

The Bangalore Style Coconut Chutney uses fresh grated coconut, fried gram (‘pottukadalai‘ in Tamil), green chillies and a bit of ginger. The green colour comes from the addition of fresh coriander (sometimes mint). Often, a dash of sugar or jaggery is added for a hint of sweetness. Lemon juice is used to gently sour the chutney.

The tempering is a simple one – mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chillies in some oil.

It is best prepared fresh, and goes very well with ‘tiffin’ items like idlis, dosas, vadas and upma/khara bath. It is super easy to make, and you can customise the consistency as per your requirements (check the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section for this!).

How to make Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney

Here’s the detailed recipe.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

1. 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut

2. 1/4 cup fried gram

3. 1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

4. 1-1/2 green chillies, roughly chopped

5. A 1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped

6. Salt to taste

7. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder

8. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

For tempering:

1. 1/2 tablespoon oil

2. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

3. 2 pinches of asafoetida

4. 1 sprig of curry leaves

5. 2-3 dry red chillies


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Below top right and bottom right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left: Step 5

1. Put together the basic ingredients needed for the chutney – grated coconut, fried gram, chopped coriander and green chillies, peeled and chopped ginger. Transfer them to a mixer jar.

2. To the mixer jar, add salt to taste and the jaggery powder. Add in just enough water to help with the grinding.

3. Grind everything together to a mostly smooth, slightly coarse mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl.

4. Add lemon juice. Mix well.

5. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the chutney. Heat oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard, and allow to sputter. Reduce heat to low-medium and add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Mix. Let them stay in for a few seconds, without burning. Transfer the tempering to the chutney in the serving bowl, and mix well. Bangalore Hotel Style Coconut Chutney is ready – serve with ‘tiffin’ dishes like idli, dosa, vada or upma.

Other chutney recipes on the blog

You might be interested in taking a look at the other chutney recipes on my blog too.

Bombay Chutney is an interesting one, made with gram flour.

Palli Chutney is an Andhra-style chutney made using peanuts, and tastes absolutely delectable.

Sutta Kathrikkai Thogayal is a beautiful eggplant chutney with a rustic smoky flavour.

Kale Thogayal is a Tam-Brahm chutney using the very nutritious kale.

Pineapple Thogayal is a lip-smackingly delish chutney made with pineapple.

Momo Achar is a lovely Sikkim-style peanut chutney for momos.

Karonde Ki Chutney is a unique sweet-and-sour relish made with ‘karondas‘ (‘kalakkai‘ in Tamil).

Kale Angoor Ki Chutney is another sort of relish, made with black grapes.

Anarosher Chaatni is a Bengali-style chutney made using ripe pineapple.

Meethi Chutney is the sweet tamarind chutney that goes into different types of chaat.

Hari Chutney is the mint-y green chutney that is used in chaat, sandwiches and the like.

My friend and fellow food blogger Sujata ji has shared a very different and interesting recipe for Mint & Coriander Chutney – do take a look!

Is this chutney vegan and gluten-free?

This recipe for Bangalore Hotel Style Chutney is completely vegetarian and vegan. It is suited to people following a plant-based diet.

Most commercially available Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour. It is best to avoid asafoetida in the tempering, in case you wish to make this chutney gluten-free.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of green chillies depending upon how spicy you want the chutney to be.

2. You may skip the jaggery powder if you don’t prefer it. However, I would highly recommend using it because of the lovely flavour it adds to the chutney.

3. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery I have used here.

4. You may use a small piece of soaked and de-seeded tamarind while grinding the chutney, in place of the lemon juice. However, this might affect the colour of the chutney. I prefer using lemon juice.

5. Use just a little water, as needed, for grinding the chutney. Too much water will cause the chutney to become too watery. However if you want to keep the chutney runny, do add in more water by all means. Adjust the salt and spice level accordingly. We prefer keeping this chutney thickish – not too watery and runny, but not overly thick either.

6. We prefer grinding the chutney mostly smooth, just slightly coarse.

7. For a taste variation, substitute the fresh coriander used in the above recipe with fresh mint leaves. You could also use a mix of mint and coriander.

8. This chutney is best prepared fresh, just before serving. Any leftover chutney can be stored on a clean, dry, air-tight box, refrigerated, for 2-3 days.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Payaru Kozhambu|Green Moong Gravy For Dosa And Rotis

Payaru Kozhambu is a delicious and nutritious gravy made with whole green moong beans. It makes for a wonderful side to rotis as well as dosas.

Let me show you how we make this kozhambu at home.

Delectable Payaru Kozhambu, served with dosas

Looking for other accompaniments for idlis and dosas? Check out my recipes for Peanut Podi, Dosa Milagai Podi, Sutta Kathrikkai Thogayal, Vazhakkai Thol Thogayal, Pineapple Thogayal, Kale Thogayal, Bombay Chutney, Basic Coconut Chutney and Tomato Onion Gojju.

Ingredients used in Payaru Kozhambu

Whole green moong is the main ingredient used in this dish. Moong beans are known for their high protein content, which makes this kozhambu extremely nutritious. It is made using very little oil, too.

A freshly ground paste made of onion, tomato and coconut is added to the moong beans, which definitely gives the kozhambu a flavour boost. In addition, coriander powder, a bit of garam masala and jaggery are also added in for more oomph. The result is incredibly yum!

How to make Payaru Kozhambu

Making Payaru Kozhambu is not a very difficult proposition. It is a dish that can be put together in about 25 minutes, including hands-free time.

This is my aunt’s recipe. My aunt is a great cook, and I have learnt a lot from her, including this Masala Poori recipe and this one for Gojju Avalakki.

Here’s the Payaru Kozhambu recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

To grind:

1. 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped roughly

2. 1 small onion, chopped roughly

3. A 1-inch piece of cinnamon, pounded in a mortar and pestle

4. 2 cloves

5. 2 tablespoons of fresh coconut, grated or slivered

6. 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped fine

7. A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

8. 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled

Other ingredients:

1. 3/4 cup whole green moong

2. 1/2 tablespoon oil

3. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

4. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

5. 2 pinches of asafoetida

6. A sprig of fresh curry leaves

7. Salt to taste

8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

9. Red chilli powder to taste

10. 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder or to taste

11. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or to taste

12. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder (optional)

13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


Top left: Step 2, Bottom left and right: Step 3, Top right and below: Step 4

1. Wash the whole green moong well under running water. Drain out all the water. Now, add in enough fresh water to cover the moong completely. Let it soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

2. When the moong is done soaking, drain out all the water from it and discard. Transfer the soaked moong to a wide vessel and add in enough water to cover it completely.

3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

4. Meanwhile, take all the ingredients listed under ‘To grind’ in a mixer jar. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep ready.

Left top and bottom: Steps 5 and 6, Right top and bottom: Steps 7 and 8

5. Once the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, we will start making the Payaru Kozhambu. First, heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard and let it sputter. Add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a few seconds.

6. Add the paste we ground earlier, to the pan. Wash the mixer jar with about 1/4 cup of water and add this to the pan too. Turn the flame down to medium. Mix.

7. Let the paste cook on medium flame till the raw smell goes away completely, 7-8 minutes. Stir intermittently. The paste will thicken considerably by this stage.

8. Add in the cooked moong, along with the water it was cooked in. Add in about 3/4 cup of water or as needed to adjust the consistency of the Payaru Kozhambu. Mix well.

Top left: Step 9, Top right, below and bottom right: Step 10, Bottom left: Step 11

9. Add salt to taste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.

10. Now, add in the coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well. Allow the mixture to cook on medium flame for 3-5 minutes more or till it begins to thicken. Mix in the jaggery powder, if using. Switch off gas at this stage. Remember to keep the mixture on the runnier side as it thickens up with time.

11. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Payaru Kozhambu is ready. Serve warm with rotis, idli or dosa.

Related Event: The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I’m presenting this recipe for Payaru Kozhambu in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. This is a foodie challenge run by a group of passionate food bloggers.

Members of the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group showcase recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every month. The group members are divided into pairs, and each pair exchanges two ingredients secretly, unknown to the rest of the group. Each pair then uses these two secret ingredients to make a dish that fits into the theme of the month. A picture of the completed dish is then shared in the group by each pair of participants, and the other members try to guess what the two secret ingredients would have been. It’s fun, and a great learning experience!

The theme for February was ‘Protein-Rich Breakfast Dishes’, suggested by Renu of Cook With Renu. You guys have to check out the beautiful Indian-Style Spicy Tofu Scramble Renu has prepared for the challenge!

I was paired with Preethi, author of Preethi’s Cuisine, for the month. I gave her the ingredients ‘coriander’ and ‘chilli’, and she used them to prepare this unique Green Chickpea Mushroom Scramble. How lovely!

Preethi suggested I use the ingredients ‘cinnamon’ and ‘cloves’ in my dish, which fit right into this Payaru Kozhambu recipe I was planning on sharing on the blog for a long time anyway.

Is this Payaru Kozhambu vegan and gluten-free?

It is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to people following a plant-based diet.

If you want to make this Payaru Kozhambu gluten-free, just skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of water depending upon the consistency of the Payaru Kozhambu that you require.

2. You may skip the jaggery if you don’t prefer using it. However, using it does add a beautiful flavour to the dish.

3. I use home-made garam masala which is quite strong, so very little quantity is needed. Adjust the quantity you use as per personal taste preferences.

4. I have used home-made coriander powder here – I lightly roast coriander seeds, allow them to cool down fully, and then grind them to a powder. This can be made in small batches, stored in an air-tight bottle, and used as needed. Adjust the quantity you use as per personal taste preferences.

5. Do not overcook the moong. 2 whistles in the pressure cooker after about 6 hours of soaking is good.

7. Soaking the whole green moong is advisable to avoid flatulence and ensure even cooking. However, for some reason, if you haven’t been able to soak the moong, just pressure cook them with enough water to completely cover them for 7-8 whistles. This will work too.

8. I have used country (‘Nati’) tomatoes, which are quite sour. If you are using the ‘farmed’ variety, which isn’t sour, I would suggest adding a dash of lemon juice to the Payaru Kozhambu after it is cooked and ready.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Strawberry Cream Recipe| Strawberries And Cream

It’s strawberry season, and I absolutely had to go ahead and use them in one of our favourite desserts – fruit cream. I made Strawberry Cream recently, and it was such a huge hit with the family!

Strawberries and cream are a classic combination, and this dessert is just the perfect foil to bring this beautiful pair together. Sweet and creamy and berrylicious, mildly tart, Strawberry Cream is a real treat to the tastebuds. It’s super easy to put together too. In today’s post, let me share with you my Strawberry Cream recipe. Try it out, and I’m sure you will fall in love with it too. 🙂

Delicious Strawberry Cream!

I love cooking with strawberries and have several recipes for the same on the blog. Here’s a basic strawberry jam and here’s a spicy one made with chilli. This strawberry and grapes salad turns out beautifully, and so does this rose and strawberry lassi. Here’s a South Indian strawberry gojju, and here’s a lovely pink strawberry kesari bath. This home-made strawberry butter and chocolate ganache tart with strawberries are great ways to use the fruit too.

Ingredients used in Strawberry Cream

Fruit cream is quite a popular dessert in Indian restaurants. It is, in effect, this simple dessert where fruits are served in a delicious, creamy base. This can be made with various types of fruits. I have started a few different variations of fruit cream on my blog so far – check out this recipe for Mixed Fruit Cream With Condensed Milk and this one for Mixed Fruit Cream With Mascarpone. This Strawberry Cream is made in a slightly different way.

This recipe needs just three basic ingredients – fresh strawberries, sugar and whipping cream. I first created a compote with strawberries and sugar, let it cool down and then mixed it with the cream – it’s that simple! And, let me tell you, it tastes ah-maa-zingg! 🙂

Strawberry Cream Recipe

Here’s how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1. 250 grams fresh strawberries + 1-2 for decoration (optional)

2. 1/4 cup of sugar or as needed

3. Powdered sugar, as needed

4. 250 ml whipping cream


Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left, centre and right: Steps 4, 5 and 6

1. We will start by making a strawberry compote. Wash 250 grams of strawberries under running water and pat dry using a cotton cloth. Chop off the stems and green leaves. Chop the strawberries into small pieces and transfer them to a heavy-bottomed pan.

2. Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the pan. Mix well, using your hands. Leave the pan to rest for 15-20 minutes.

3. In 15-20 minutes, the fruit would have started to release water. At this stage, place the pan on medium flame. Let it get slowly heated up.

4. Continue to cook the mixture on medium flame. The fruit will start disintegrating and thickening. Stir intermittently.

5. Mash the fruit lightly using a potato masher.

6. Switch off gas when the mixture has thickened up but is still slightly runny. Remember that it will thicken up further with time. The cooking should take 10-12 minutes in total. Your strawberry compote is ready. Allow it to cool down completely.

Top left and right: Step 7 and 8, Below top right and bottom right: Step 9, Bottom left: Step 10

7. When the compote has cooled down fully, we will begin making the Strawberry Cream. Take 250 ml of whipping cream in a large mixing bowl. Whisk gently for a few minutes, by which time it will become fluffy and thicken slightly.

8. At this stage, add in the cooled strawberry compote we prepared earlier. Mix it well into the cream.

9. Taste and add in powdered sugar if needed. Mix well. Your Strawberry Cream is ready.

10. The Strawberry Cream can be served immediately, but it tastes best when chilled for about 1/2 hour before serving. Use the additional 1-2 strawberries to decorate the dessert before serving (if you prefer).

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used regular refined sugar here, both in the granular and powdered form.

2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use in the compote depending upon how sweet/sour the fruit is and also upon your personal taste preferences. I needed to add in a little powdered sugar later, but you may skip it if you think it is not required.

3. Use fresh strawberries that are firm and not damaged or squishy. Ideally, strawberries that are a good mix of sweet and sour work best in this recipe.

4. You may add a few drops of vanilla essence to the cream if you so prefer. I have not used it.

5. You can prepare the compote in advance and keep it refrigerated. This way, you can prepare the Strawberry Cream whenever you want to, within minutes. The compote stays well for at least a month when stored refrigerated in a clean, dry, air-tight box.

6. Remember to keep the compote on the runnier side. It will thicken up further with time. If it gets too thick, you will not be able to stir it well into the cream.

7. When the strawberries aren’t even a bit sour, the compote can turn out too sweet. In that case, you may add a dash of lemon to the compote after it has been cooked and the gas has been switched off.

8. I have not pureed the strawberries, so that we get little chunks of the fruit while eating the dessert. If you so prefer, you may puree the fruit completely, like I have done in my Strawberry Jam recipe here.

9. If you have home-made strawberry jam ready, you can use it to make this Strawberry Cream instead of making the compote from scratch. I have done so quite a few times actually, and been very happy with the results. In that case, I like chopping up a couple of large strawberries and adding them to the cream just before serving. Store-bought jam is thicker due to the addition of pectin and I’m not sure if it would yield itself just as well to the making of this dessert – I prefer using home-made jam or compote only.

10. Use good, heavy cream to make this dessert. I have used Amul whipping cream here. Since I have used a wire whisk, the cream did not get too thick after whisking. If you are using an electric beater, you might want to beat the cream till it gets stiff peaks. I rather prefer the former. With the addition of the strawberry compote, the whisked cream turned just the right amount of thick.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Kobichi Koshimbir| Maharashtrian Cabbage Salad

Kobichi Koshimbir refers to a delicious cabbage salad from the state of Maharashtra. Juicy and fresh and full of flavours, this salad is an absolute delight. It has been one of the most requested recipes on my Instagram page lately.

I have been sharing pictures of my daily home-made meals on my Instagram stories, in an endeavour to keep myself motivated to eat clean. I am thrilled with the attention they have been receiving, readers writing in to say how much the simple dishes cooked with seasonal ingredients have inspired them. It has been a pleasure to see more people cooking healthier meals, getting fitter in a little way. After I shared a snippet about Kobichi Koshimbir a few days ago on Instagram, many asked for the recipe – so here I am! Scroll down for the detailed proceedure.

Kobichi Koshimbir or Maharashtrian Cabbage Salad

Kobichi Koshimbir – ingredients and a little backstory

Kobichi Koshimbir, like I mentioned above, is a cabbage salad from Maharashtra. Fresh cabbage is chopped up, mixed with finely chopped coriander and green chillies, salt, a dash of sugar, coarsely crushed roasted peanuts and lemon juice. The peanuts provide the crunch factor to this mildly spiced and lemony salad.

I follow the recipe taught to me by Richa Chitgopekar, a passionate and talented cook and regional food enthusiast. Richa says, and I agree, “Use tender winter cabbage for this salad. The type that is green on the outside.” Mature cabbage just doesn’t cut it.

Some families add a bit of grated coconut to this salad, too, as well as mustard, asafoetida and curry leaves tempered in a little oil. I usually don’t, as I prefer to keep it oil-free.

Now that I have prepared the Kobichi Koshimbir a few times, vague memories of my grandmother making it at home are starting to come back. My paternal grandmother, N Paati, was a Marathi food lover, and would cook several dishes from the cuisine. She was my first point of introduction to the brilliant repertoire of dishes that Marathi cuisine has to offer. Shevgyacha Shengachi Amti, Aambe Dal, Tendli Masale Bhaat and Dadpe Pohe are some other Maharashtrian recipes on the blog.

Kobichi Koshimbir isn’t very different from Thai salad, come to think of it. The ingredients used are almost the same, and so is the flavour profile. Well, whatever the origin, I can definitely vouch for the fact that this is one lip-smackingly delish thing!

How to make Kobichi Koshimbir

Here is how to put the salad together, a process that takes well under 20 minutes. I have reproduced Richa’s recipe here, with her permission.

Ingredients (serves 1-2):

1. 2 cups fresh cabbage, chopped medium fine

2. 2 tablespoons peanuts

3. 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste

4. Salt to taste

5. 1 green chilli or to taste

6. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

7. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste


Top left: Step 1, Top right, below top right, bottom right and bottom left: Step 2

1. We will start by roasting the peanuts. Dry roast the peanuts in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till they start getting dark spots. Transfer the roasted peanuts to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

2. In the meantime, take the chopped cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and sugar to taste. Rub nicely with your hands for a couple of minutes, so the salt and sugar get well incorporated into the cabbage.

Top and bottom left: Step 3, Right top, centre and bottom: Steps 4, 5 and 6

3. When the roasted peanuts have fully cooled down, transfer them to a small mixer jar. Coarsely pulse them and add to the mixing bowl.

4. Chop the green chilli very finely and add to the mixing bowl. Add in the finely chopped coriander too.

5. Add in the lemon juice.

6. Mix everything well together. Your Kobichi Koshimbir is ready. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes for all the flavours to meld together, then serve immediately. This salad can be had on its own, but it also makes for a lovely accompaniment to rotis. It can also be served as part of a full-fledged Maharashtrian thali meal.

Is this salad vegan and gluten-free?

This Kobichi Koshimbir is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is gluten-free as well.

Tips & Tricks

1. For best results, use cabbage that is tender and fresh. Mature cabbage does not taste the same.

2. I prefer chopping the cabbage finely. You can even chop it into long slivers if you so prefer.

3. Make sure the peanuts are well roasted before adding them to the salad. Take care to ensure that they do not burn while roasting.

4. The roasted peanuts should be crushed coarsely and not ground to a fine powder – use the ‘Pulse’ feature on your mixer to do this.

5. Adjust the quantity of salt, sugar, green chillies and lemon juice as per personal taste preferences.

6. Make sure the green chilli is chopped really fine, so you don’t get big bites of it while eating the salad.

7. I have used regular refined sugar here. It gets well integrated into the cabbage when you rub it with your hands. You may use powdered sugar if you so prefer.

8. You can add a tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves to the salad if you want to. I didn’t, because I wanted to keep it oil-free. Avoid the asafoetida in case you want to keep the salad gluten-free – this is because most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent.

9. Some families add about a tablespoon of fresh grated coconut to the salad too. I have skipped this.

10. Do not let the Kobichi Koshimbir sit around for too long after making it. This causes the salad to become watery. It is best served after about 10 minutes of making it.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!