Methi(aka Fenugreek) Leaves and Seeds are common ingredients in Indian cooking. They have a slightly bitter but intensely nutty and savory flavor. Added to any gravy or vegetable curries, it adds a great depth. Herb combination of Methi leaves and Cilantro is just a great flavor treat!
Using chickpeas or potatoes with methi leaves is most common. Here is a version of methi leaves with chickpeas in a tomato/onion masala.
1 32 oz can Chickpeas
1 cup Methi leaves (aka Fenugreek leaves) cleaned & washed
5 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/3 cup cilantro
To make into a paste:
1 stick Cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
8 Indian green chillis (use 4-5 for a milder version)
1 ” Ginger piece
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1 large tomato
1 medium onion
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup water
Add all of the above paste ingredients to a blender. Add the cup of water and blend everything together to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
Prepare the methi leaves: pluck the leaves from the stem and discard the stems. Put all the leaves in a bowl and fill it with cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, all the dirt and grit will sink to the bottom. Gently pick the leaves out the water, pat dry with a paper towel and rough chop the leaves and set aside.
In a pan heat 5 tbsps canola oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan off the heat and pour the blended spice mixture into the pan stirring the mixture and the oil together. If you pour the mixture into the oil while still on heat there will be a lot of splattering. Put the pan back into medium heat, sprinkle 1 tsp of salt and cook this masala for 15-20 minutes stirring ever 5 minutes. The raw flavor and smell of the spices will mellow down as it simmers. Your kitchen will smell insanely good by now!
Add remaining salt, garam masala powder and the chopped methi leaves. Mix throughly. Let this cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and cilantro making sure the chick peas is really coated well in the masala. Cook for another 7-8 minutes, remove from heat and serve hot. I served it over a bed of hot basmati rice and with Chapatis. Naan would be great too!
This curry tastes even better the next day when the chickpeas has completely soaked into the masala sitting in it all day! In fact I always make this dish in the morning and serve it for dinner. The flavors intensify and marry better the longer it sits.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. Here are the rules if you want to participate and here’s Who’s Hosting Weekend Herb Blogging if you’d like to join the weekly celebration of cooking with fresh herbs.