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Methi Aloo sabzi – Potatoes and Fenugreek greens

December 8, 2010

Hello folks! This post comes after a long break of zero action here at the blog. I’ve been really busy buying gifts for my family and getting a whole load of chores done before I leave for a month-long holiday, while balancing my increasingly hectic volunteering duties. Shopping of any kind is honestly a thoroughly enjoyable activity, and I couldn’t resist doing some bargain shopping for myself (given the brilliant Black Friday deals) when purchasing fashion-forward handbags and other amazing goodies for my family. In the loot for my own personal use, was a pair of Nine West boots, a Charlotte Russe handbag that looks like it’s from Coach 😉 and some skinny jeans to go with the boots. Ameena Din’s post assured me I’m not as crazy I thought I am about shopping 😀

Methi Aloo sabzi

Methi Aloo sabzi

In the mean time, I’ve also been writing up a menu for the next few days, that involves using up some vegetables I have in my pantry and freezer. In today’s post, I’ll share the recipe for one such menu item with you – Methi Aloo sabzi. In line with my newly found aversion to lengthy recipes, this nutritious vegetable dish takes less than 1/2 hour to prepare.

A sabzi, in Indian cooking is the name for any vegetable preparation, usually eaten with Roti (Indian flatbread) followed by any lentil preparation and rice, making it a complete vegetarian meal. Methi is the Hindi word for Fenugreek, which is consumed in Indian cooking in the seed form and the leaf form. Apart from the simple, earthy flavors of this vegetable dish, the Fenugreek plant has many health benefits. It helps lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar, when eaten on a regular basis. Both the leaves and seeds are high in calcium and hence a wonderful food to eat throughout your life.

This is real, simple, everyday Indian cooking for you.

The leaves of the methi plant are a little cumbersome to clean, so I use frozen fenugreek leaves, which considerably cuts back cooking time. Follow this same recipe with any other green available at your local market. I once tried it with Swiss chard from the Farmer’s Market here in Minneapolis, and it tasted brilliant! Here’s how I make this simple, nutritious, delicious dish.

You will need:

  • 2 blocks frozen fenugreek leaves – there will be several blocks in one 16oz packet
  • 3 large potatoes, boiled until cooked but not mushy, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 big onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Lemon juice for garnishing

Method:

  • In a microwave safe bowl, place the frozen blocks of fenugreek leaves and cook for 1.5 minutes
  • In a heavy bottom cooking pot, heat the oil and add cumin seeds. When they begin to crackle, add onions and garlic
  • Put a lid on the pot and allow the onion to cook on medium heat until they are soft and translucent
  • While the onions cook, place the thawed fenugreek leaves on your chopping board and coarsely chop them up
  • Once the onions are soft, add the chopped tomatoes. Allow to cook until mushy
  • Add all the dry spices along with the sugar and salt, mix well and wait for the oil to separate from the sides of the mixture
  • Then add about 4-5 tbsp of water and let the whole curry soften to a thick paste
  • Finally, add the fenugreek leaves, mix well, put a lid on the pot and allow it to cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Add some more water if you feel the mixture is too dry (if you plan to use fresh methi leaves, no need to add water)
  • After 10 minutes, add the potatoes to the pot, gently envelop the methi around the potatoes and allow to simmer on low heat for one more minute
  • Garnish with fresh lemon juice and serve hot with Roti.

Extra tips:

  • The flavor of methi leaves is mildly bitter. You may add more lemon juice and sugar to the dish to mask the bitter flavor.
  • To make this dish more spicy, add chopped green chilies.
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13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2010 4:48 pm

    I am a fan of potatoes in absolutely any form and this dish is no exception! My mom makes something similar to this and I love it so thank you for giving me the recipe so I can make an attempt myself!

  2. December 8, 2010 4:50 pm

    By the way I will be in Minnesota for a wedding at the end of January. I’ll only be there for 2 days though so I don’t know how likely a meetup would be?

  3. December 8, 2010 11:38 pm

    I second Ameena. Whenever I’m cooking for non Indians, which would mostly mean my arab friends, who are trying Indian food first time, I make aloo based Indian sabzi and chickpeas. Everyone loves potatoes and chickpeas so thts the best way to start 🙂 I love aloo methi. But I don’t often get methi here 😦

    • December 11, 2010 1:27 pm

      Yeah, potatoes absorb almost any flavor so well no? I don’t get fresh methi here all the time either.. the taste is different from the frozen blocks that I use instead. Although, cleaning fresh methi is quite a pain. So much mud to wash off! Almost like leeks.

  4. December 12, 2010 8:23 pm

    This looks so comforting and hearty – perfect winter food! I haven’t ever cooked with fenugreek leaves or methi – I’m going to have to try some next time I go to the Indian market…which I sorely need to do. I’m out of chana dal and a bunch of spices…and I need to get back to cooking some Indian food soon!

    • December 14, 2010 6:05 pm

      You love chana dal don’t you? You must also give Toovar dal aka yellow dal a try. Takes much lesser time to cook and perfect for soups as it disintegrates into a thick creamy consistency.

  5. December 13, 2010 9:06 pm

    Wow….I have been looking all over the place for ethnic food recipes! I have always wanted to try Indian cuisine myself. This looks especially delicious.

  6. Katie permalink
    January 27, 2011 8:34 am

    Hi Sabera,
    It was so nice to meet you at school this week. Did you know that some of the Hmong farmers around the Twin Cities grow fresh fenugreek (for marketing to Indians living in the area)?

    I’ve seen it for sale at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market (more often on the weekends at “Lyndale” than at the Thursday market on Nicollet Mall, but sometimes there, too).

    I’m so happy you told us about your blog–thanks!

    • Katie permalink
      January 27, 2011 8:35 am

      Oops. I just read your post in full. Now I see that you don’t use fresh fenugreek often. Oh well–nice to meet you anyway! 🙂

  7. Avery Whitcher permalink
    March 4, 2013 1:43 pm

    Several human intervention trials demonstrated that the antidiabetic effects of fenugreek seeds ameliorate most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and relevant animal models by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance.”

    My personal blog site
    <.http://www.foodsupplementcenter.com/cordyceps-benefits/

  8. Jessica permalink
    October 7, 2016 4:16 pm

    Love these potatoes. Here is my twist on them.

    You will need:
    • 1 package of mini-gnocchi
    • 1/2 big onion, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • Salt and lemon juice to taste
    • Cilantro OR Chutney Coriander Sauce to finish/decorate

    How to prepare:
    Prepare the gnocchi according to the package.

    In a frying pan, heat the oil and add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add onions and garlic. Cook the onion on medium heat until they are soft and translucent.

    Add all the dry ingredients to the onion/garlic mix.

    Mix the cooked gnocchi and the onion/garlic mix together. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Add a little cilantro OR Chutney Coriander Sauce to the top and voila!

    ENJOY!

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