Methi: Green gold in your kitchen

Here’s one way to combine nutrition and flavour. Enjoy a great meal with a few lip-smacking methi recipes by Radha Prathi .

Fenugreek leaves, popularly known as methi, are easily available in all parts of the country and is a widely popular cooking ingredient not because it is economical but mainly because it has been proven as a “coolant” food.

There are hundreds of recipes that have evolved on this green gold. It is proven to be a powerful panacea in the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure. Fenugreek also holds the promise to cure certain types of arthritis. As if these weren’t enough, a hair cleanser made from soaked and ground seeds of fenugreek, can prevent premature hair loss.

Women who suffer pain during their menstrual cycle can overcome cramps forever if they consume a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in curd with a pinch of salt for 45 days  continuously on an empty stomach.

Methi seems to have magical curative properties especially for problems related to the stomach. Simple ailments like indigestion, stomach ache, constipation and piles can be overcome by the consumption of these leaves. It is no wonder that it is an important ingredient in most varieties of pickles and spicy, tangy chutneys.

Methi rice

Ingredients: Washed and cut methi — 2 cups, grated coconut — 1 cup, tomato puree — 1 cup, soaked moong dal — 1 cup, Fresh peas/bean seeds — 100 grams, coriander seeds — 3 teaspoons, cumin seeds — 2 teaspoons, channa dal — 2 teaspoons, lime juice — 2 tablespoons, turmeric powder — 1 teaspoon, red chilli — 6, mustard seeds — 1 teaspoon, asafoetida — half a teaspoon, cooking oil — 2 teaspoons, fresh coriander leaves — a few, curry leaves — a few, salt — 2 teaspoons

Method: Roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, channa dal and red chillies using very little oil and grind them into a fine powder.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the mustard and asafoetida till they splatter. Add the washed and cut coriander sprig, curry leaves to the seasoning. Add some more oil and then add the cut methi leaves, grated coconut, tomato puree, soaked moong dal, green peas, turmeric and salt to the pan and cook well. Remove the pan from the fire and add the lime juice to the same.

You can mix this with pre-cooked rice. You could add a dollop of ghee to improve flavour. Methi rice can be served with pacchadi and pappad.

Methi kootu

Ingredients: Washed and cut methi — 2 cups, grated coconut — 1 cup, moong dal — 1 cup, cumin seeds — 2 teaspoons, urad dal — 2 teaspoon, black pepper — 1 teaspoon, mustard — 1 teaspoon, cooking oil — 1 teaspoon, curry leaves —  a few, salt — 2 teaspoons.

Method: Fry the urad dal and black pepper using very little oil and grind them into a fine powder. Grind the grated coconut and curry leaves into a fine paste. Pressure cook the cut greens and moong dal separately using minimum water. Don’t  drain the excess water as it contains all the essential vitamins. Mix the cooked greens, dal, freshly prepared spice and coconut gravy and let the mixture cook on a slow fire.
Heat a little oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds till they splatter. Add fresh cumin seeds to the cooked product. Serve with hot rice or rotis.

Methi vadakarai

Ingredients: Channa dal — 250 grams, washed and cut methi leaves — 3 cups, turmeric powder — 1 teaspoon, red chillies — 10, mustard — 1 teaspoon, asafoetida — half a teaspoon, cooking oil — 3 tablespoons, curry leaves — a few.

Method: Soak the dal for two hours and grind it to a fine thick paste along with red chillies, turmeric powder and salt and mix the cut methi leaves into the batter.

Steam the batter in a pressure cooker for at least fifteen minutes. Once the steamed dough cools, use a clean spoon or your fingers to disintegrate the mass in such a way so that there are no lumps.

Heat oil in a large pan and add the mustard and asafoetida till they splatter. Add the disintegrated mass to the pan and attend to the ingredients by stirring them in the pan for 10 minutes, adding half a spoon of oil every now and then to prevent it from burning at the bottom before putting off the heat. Your methi vadakari is ready. It can be served with hot rice.

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