Recipes: Methi Palak Dal

I’ve blogged about dals many times previously and here’s another one today. I had some fresh methi leaves and so instead of making it into a sabzi or kneading it into a dough for methi parathas, I thought of adding it to a dal with some fresh spinach. The result was a super yummy dal that kept well even when we had it the next day.

Methi and Palak Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh methi or fenugreek leaves, plucked, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh palak or spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal, washed and soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak the chopped spinach and methi in some water so that any dirt gets to the bottom. Wash it well and keep it aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee and oil and when warm, add the cumin seeds. Let the seeds pop and then add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Then add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add the finely chopped onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • When the onions are translucent, add the finely chopped tomatoes and some salt and let the onions cook.
  • When the tomatoes start to turn mushy and are fully cooked, add in the chopped greens and saute till the greens start to wilt.
  • At this point, add in the soaked dal and add salt, jaggery, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Add in water to cover the dal, close the cooker and cook it for three whistles. If you are cooking on a stovetop, cook until the dal is completely cooked and the dal is completely dissolved.
  • Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal and greens together and switch on the flame again
  • Adjust seasonings and add water to bring it to the consistency you desire and when you are satisfied with the taste and consistency, switch off the flame and add the lemon juice.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotis or any Indian flatbread.

Recipes: Methi Matar Pulao

During this lockdown when we can’t go out much, sometimes, you have pretty much nothing left in the fridge to cook with. Last week was one of those times. I was staring at a an empty fridge and still had to make lunch. So I decided to make this Methi Matar Pulao with what I actually had which was an onion, some frozen green peas and dried methi plus some spices. It actually was super delicious and GG even said that this could have been eaten on its own though I paired it with some onion boondi raita and some potato chips or crisps. Do try and let me know if you liked it!

Methi Matar Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed well and soaked for 20-30 mins
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 onion, sliced finely
  • 2-3 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves or Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 green chilli, chopped into 1 inch pices
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee

Method:

  • After the basmati rice has been soaked for 20-30 mins, drain the water from the rice and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee or oil in a pan and when the fat heats up, add the cumin seeds and let them pop.
  • After the cumin seeds pop, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and stir for a few seconds.
  • Then add the green chilli and ginger and stir for a few seconds. After this add the onions and stir until the onions are translucent.
  • Now add the frozen peas and stir. Once the peas have been coated with the oil, take the dried fenugreek leaves in the palm of your hand and crush it lightly to release the oils. Sprinkle this dried leaves over the peas and stir.
  • Add the drained rice and salt and stir well.
  • If you are using a rice cooker, pour this into the rice cooker, add the appropriate amount of water and cook until done. I generally use slightly less than 1 cup of water for every cup of basmati rice, but you can play with this depending on your rice.
  • If you are cooking on the stovetop, add slightly less than the water needed and cook covered. If you feel you need more water, add towards the end when the rice is almost cooked so you can control how much water you add.
  • When the rice is cooked, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before you fluff it up with a fork. Serve hot with a raita.

Recipes: Sweet Sour Methi Dal

I had some methi or Fenugreek leaves going bad and so instead of adding them to my roti dough, I decided to make it into a dal. I was experimenting as I made the recipe, but the dal turned out amazing. This recipe is a definite keeper and takes hardly any time to make.

Sweet Sour Methi Dal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toovar dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 dried red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (can substitute brown or white sugar for this)
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Wash the toovar dal well and soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Then cook it in a pressure cooker till it is soft and mushy. If you don’t have a cooker, then cook it on the stovetop till you get a soft and mushy dal. Once the dal reaches that state, whisk it thoroughly and keep aside.
  • Finely chop the methi leaves and wash them and keep aside.
  • In a smaller skillet, heat the ghee and when the ghee warms, add the cumin seeds and let the seeds splutter.
  • Next break the dried red chillies and add them, stirring a couple of times. Add the asafoetida powder and then the washed methi leaves.Stir well and let the methi cook a while.
  • Add the cooked and whisked dal and stir well. Season with salt and add the jaggery or sugar and let the dal simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and then stir in the lemon juice and the coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot as part of an Indian meal with rice and a stir fried vegetable.

Methi Makkai Mattar or Fenugreek Leaves, Sweet Corn and Peas in Gravy

I had some frozen Methi lying in my fridge and was thinking about how to use it when am idea popped into my head and would not leave. So last week, I decided to try something and just hoped for the best. Luckily for me, the recipe turned out fine and was actually quite good, if I may say so. So here’s the latest experiment from my kitchen.

Methi Makkai Matar or Fenugreek leaves, Sweet Corn and Peas in a Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 small cup frozen or fresh methi leaves
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh sweet corn
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, chppped
  • 5-6 pods of garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 3-4 red chillies (I used the small ones, you can also use green chillies)
  • 10 pieces of whole cashew nuts
  • 10 pieces of almonds
  • 4-6 tbsp yoghurt
  • 4 pieces of clove
  • 4 pieces of cardamom
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain or carom seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 4-5 tsp oil

Method:

  • Defrost the frozen vegetables (if using) and lightly cook them in a microwave till they are soft.
  • If you don’t have access to a microwave, then pour boiling water over the frozen corn and peas for 20 minutes, drain and keep aside. Let the frozen methi defrost and keep aside.
  • If you are using fresh methi, pluck and chop the leaves and keep aside.
  • Slice the onions and keep aside. Roughly chop the tomatoes and keep aside. Peel the ginger and garlic and keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat about 3-4 tsp of oil and when the oil warms, add the sliced onions and let it brown. We want the onions to caramelise and become brown.
  • When the onions are about 80% brown, move the onions to the sides of the pan and in the same oil, add the whole spices – 1 tsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, carom seeds, cloves and cardamom and let them pop.
  • Then add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Then add the chopped onions and let the tomatoes cook and become pulpy. Switch off the gas and let it cool. Move this to a blender and when fully cool, blend to a smooth paste, adding water if needed.
  • In the same pan, add the balance oil and heat it. When the oil warms, add the remaining cumin seeds and let it pop.
  • Then add the methi leaves and stir for a few minutes. After that, add the corn and peas and salt to taste.
  • Cover and cook until the vegetables are almost done, stirring often.
  • When the vegetables are almost done, add the blended paste and stir.
  • Add some water to thin (but not too much) and then the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  • In the same blender, whisk the yoghurt well and add it to the gravy.
  • Check for seasoning and add what’s missing.
  • Add the garam masala powder and let it boil on a low to medium flame for 5 minutes
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with an Indian bread or even plain rice.

Recipe: Fenugreek and Sweet Corn Pulao

IMG_5926Now that I am at home these days, I try to cook something different each day, especially since BB & GG are having school holidays.

Today, instead of a dal, rice, vegetable combo, I decided to make some pulao. Digging through the freezer, I found some frozen fenugreek or methi as it’s called in Hindi along with frozen sweetcorn and I had the perfect pulao to make! The slight bitterness of the fenugreek pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness of sweetcorn and this dish comes together in no time!

IMG_5927

Methi Corn Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen methi (fenugreek)
  • 1.5 cups frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 onion, sliced lengthwise thinly
  • 3 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for a minimum of 20 minutes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 10-12 cashewnuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1 inch piece ginger, julienned
  • 3-4 green chillies, cut into big pieces
  • 1 tsp ghee or oil
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Defrost the methi and sweetcorn and keep aside.
  • Slice the onions lengthwise and keep aside.
  • Drain the water from the basmati rice and keep aside.
  • In a pan, warm 1 tsp ghee or oil and when the ghee is warm, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • When the cumin seeds start popping, add the dry masalas – bay leaves, cloves and cardamom one by one and stir for a few seconds.
  • Next add the ginger and green chillies and stir them for a few seconds.
  • Add the cashewnuts and let it start browning. Make sure you don’t burn the cashewnuts.
  • Next add the onions and let it become translucent.
  • Once the onions have cooked and become translucent, add the defrosted methi and let it cook for a while. The methi will slightly shivel up.
  • At this point, add the sweetcorn and some salt and let it cook. Cook for approximately 5 mins and then add the rice.
  • Stir well and let the spices get incorporated well and switch off the gas.
  • Pour this mixture into a rice cooker and add the water. Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Depending on your rice cooker, it should take approximately 30-40 minutes to cook. Once it is done, switch off the cooker and let it sit for a while. Then fluff it up using a fork.
  • If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can also cook on the stove. At the point when the rice, methi and corn is cooked, add the water and check for salt. Then keep an eye on the dish as the rice cooks. This should take around 15-20 minutes. If you feel the water is not enough, add a bit more to let the rice cook.

Delicious corn methi pulao is ready! I served it with a mixed vegetable in a yoghurt sauce (recipe coming soon)

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