Sunday, August 7, 2016

Savory Dill Cakes (Shepu Vadi)

Leafy greens are a good source of iron & calcium among other nutrients. I’m a big fan of most leafy vegetables, but they may not be everyone’s favorite. However one can always find ways to sneak them into various dishes. One such nutrient packed delicious snack is dill cakes. Dill (which is known as “shepu” in Marathi language) is used in India not just as an herb for flavoring, but also as a main ingredient in a lot of dishes. The dill cakes (or shepu vadi) can be served several ways - steamed, pan fried or deep fried. Steaming and then deep frying is a very common version, but to reduce the fat content, I prefer steaming and then pan frying if I really want the crispiness. The basic ingredients are dill and chickpea flour. Beyond that, spices and add-ins such as sesame seeds, caraway seeds (ajwain) etc. can be added based on taste preference.

1 cup packed chopped fresh dill
~1 cup chickpea flour (besan) - sifted
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
~1 inch grated ginger (or to taste) - could use ginger powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp toasted sesame - optional
Salt to taste
1 small green chili - optional
½ tsp jaggery - optional
Oil (optional for pan frying)


In a bowl or large plate, mix all ingredients except water. Add water a couple teaspoons at a time to make a thick dough.

Roll the dough into a log. Bring water to boil, place the dill roll in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes, until completely cooked. You can check by inserting a knife or toothpick - once cooked, there should be hardly any crumbs sticking to the knife/toothpick. I also like to line the steamer with lettuce/cabbage leaves to prevent the dough from sticking to the steamer. Parchment paper could be used for the same, or you can grease the base of the steamer with some oil.


Once slightly cooled, slice the steamed roll ~¼“ thick. These steamed dill cakes are ready to serve as is if you’d like the healthiest option. To make them even more delicious and add a nice crisp, I like to pan fry the slices with a few drops of oil until golden brown on both sides. Whichever way you choose, the taste won’t disappoint you!



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