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Recipe: Cilantro & Corn Cakes

Hah! During some part of the editorial process for this recipe for Seven Pots of Tea, some information was accidentally missed. It happens to the best of us. So, here we have the complete recipe for Cilantro & Corn Cakes from my book, Seven Pots of Tea: an Ayurvedic approach to sips & nosh (page 215).

tamarind, brown chutney, yellow corn cakes on a green platter

Cilantro & Corn Cakes

Makes: Varies

Cook Time: 20 minutes plus cooking

These pan-fried cakes are bursting with the sweet aromatic flavors of cilantro and corn and the robust earthy flavor of roasted chickpea flour. Combined, they make a hearty snack that can be prepared ahead of time, and cooked just before serving for convenience. Vary the flavors by changing the cilantro to dill, fresh fenugreek leaves, or even fennel fronds.


¼ cup chickpea flour

1-2 tbsp cooking oil, plus extra for shallow frying

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp minced ginger

1 finely chopped jalapeño OR 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 large Idaho potato, peeled, boiled, and mashed

½ cup parboiled sweet corn, or to taste

1 cup cilantro* leaves and stems included, finely chopped

½ tsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt, to taste

¼ cup water or more, for steaming


Dry roast the chickpea flour in a large skillet and set aside. Warm 1-2 tbsp of oil in the same saucepan, season the oil with cumin seeds. Add the ginger, jalapeños or cayenne powder, and turmeric and remove from heat. Combine these spices in a large bowl with chickpea flour, mashed potato, corn, cilantro leaves, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well until combined. This will make a very soft dough. Do not add the water. Portion the dough into small nuggets, about 2” in diameter. Softly flatten each into cakes and set aside. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil into a large shallow nonstick fry pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, place each flattened cake in the hot oil and move it out to the edge of the pan. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, on medium until each side is lightly brown. Add 2-4 tablespoons of water into the pan, and cover with a tight-fitting lid to steam the cakes. Turn each cake after the first batch of water has evaporated and add 1-2 tablespoons more water and repeat the steaming process. Serve with chutney of choice, or even ketchup.

*Use a half cup of dill leaves, fresh fenugreek leaves, or fennel fronds in place of cilantro as an alternate.

* Vary the amount of par-boiled corn to preference. Too much and the patty wont form as easily. Too little and it may taste more like a delicious pan-fried hush puppy.



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Nandita Godbole
Once: botanist & landscape architect.
Now: personal chef, author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger, poet & potter!
Always: dreamer.

Loves fresh brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 
Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 
Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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