Methi( Menthi Aaku ) aka Fenugreek is used as a herb( fenugreek leaves ) and also the seeds used as spice. Back home, we used to get very small bunches of just sprouted fenugreek leaves and they are very milder and juicier compared to the matured leaves. But the ones i get here in US are litle bit matured and are slightly bitter.
- The seeds in spice powders and curries
- The fresh fenu greek leaves( menthi kura) in curries, dals and rotis
- Dried fenugreek leaves called Kasuri methi to make breads and curries
I remember back home we used to wake up early in the morning, extract juice from the leaves( using mortar and pestle ) and apply to hair as we were told it aids in healthy scalp and hair growth. Some Sundays we would even apply ground methi seeds( fenugreek seeds ) which were soaked in yogurt overnight. Doing this way, it reduces heat from the body and makes hair dandruff free, thick and lustrous. Also, Grandma asks us to take Fenugreek seeds with water to control diarrhea.
Mom usually makes sumptuous Methi Dal, Fenugreek leaves with lentils and tomatoes but my mother in law makes this delicious simple Aloo Methi( Menthapukura Alugadda) which is a dry curry with Potatoes, peas and fenugreek leaves with a touch of sambar powder. My husnband loves this dish a lot and i joined him soon after the very first taste. I know it takes time to prepare the fenugreek leaves( methi ), but believe me all that hardwork pays off when you taste the curry. I would prefer fresh bunch, if its not available you can go ahead and use frozen blocks available in any Indian grocery, but the quality and taste is not that great but acceptable.
- 1 bunch of Fenugreek leaves
- 2 red potatoes( boiling potatoes)
- fistful of petite green peas
- 2 tsp of any sambar powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
- 2-3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- sugar to taste
- salt to taste
- Pluck the methi leaves from the stems wash thoroughly add salt and keep aside. Since the methi leaves are bitter to taste, using salt removes the bitterness.
- Cook the whole potato in microwave using very less water. Do not use baking potatoes like Idaho, use boiling potatoes like red potatoes as these potatoes have to retain their shape when cooked in this curry. Let the potatoes completely cool. Once cooled, peel off the skin and cut into big chunks.
- Drain all the water from the methi leaves, wash again and drain off the water completely
- In a thick pan / kadai heat oil, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, once they start to crackle, add the drained fenugreek leaves and fry till they are completely cooked and you can notice the leaves become dark and dry
- Add green peas and cook for a couple of mins
- Now bring on those peeled and chopped cooked potatoes saute for a min and then add any sambar powder on hand( or some jeera and coriander powder together ), red chilli powder, and salt
- Let the masalas coat the potato well, fry for few more mins and then add sugar, saute for few more mins until the sugar is completely absorbed
- You can adjust spice, sugar and salt to your taste
This sweet and spicy Fenugreek leaves with potatoes and peas tastes great with rice, rotis or even tortillas ..Even better you can finish it off just as it is, yep tastes that good!!