This is another easy recipe that fits into the weeknight’s dinner menu quite well. the only downside is that the picking of fenugreek leaves takes a bit of time. But you do that beforehand during the weekend like I do, the rest of the cooking is just over within minutes.
I used to make methi alu two ways- 1) Punjabi style with loads of onion, garlic and tomatoes etc. 2)Jain style with just minimal spices, keeping it very mild and light. This one however, is a third version very different than the above two. I am not sure if this is how they typically make Methi alu in Maharashtra, but its loosely inspired by the cuisine. I have had this first time at a Marathi friend’s place hence the guesswork. This recipe uses peanuts and coconut both into it, though mostly I just use one of these depending on what’s available in the pantry that day.
I use fenugreek quite often in my cooking. The slightly bitter taste and sharp aroma is enough to revive my hunger pangs after a long day. I do all the plucking during the weekend and at least keep one batch ready for the quick turnaround during the week.
What you need?
- 2 bunches of methi (fenugreek), about 3 cups full
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped small
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped small
- 2 tbsp cup roasted peanuts, ground (coarsely)
- 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut (or you may use desiccated variety)
- 1 tsp salt OR to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric, coriander powder, cumin seeds each
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp oil
How to make?
Pluck fenugreek leaves out of stem, wash thoroughly and drain. Chop roughly.
Dry roast coconut in a pan till it turns light brown and keep aside. This will take about 6-8 minutes on medium flame
Heat oil in a wok or pan and throw in cumin seeds. When they splutter, add garlic and fry just for half a minute. Add in chopped onion, and cook till it turns light brown.
Add potatoes and cook them covered for 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Add all the spices, mix well. Add fenugreek leaves and give a nice stir so everything comes together. Sprinkle a few drops of water if the mixture looks too dry. Cook further for about 5-7 minutes, covered on a medium flame.
Finally, add roasted peanuts and coconut bits and give a last stir. Check the seasoning and see if the potatoes have gotten cooked properly and cook for a further 2-3 minutes if not. Turn off the flame. Keep the sabzi covered and fold gently before serving.
How to take the bitterness out of methi leaves: Take them out in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle some salt, mixing gently. Leave them aside for about 30-40 minutes. It will release more water. Squeeze it all out properly, wash the leaves once again to shed off the salt. Drain well. Leaves are ready to be cooked.
Chop the potato in cubes of roughly the same size to make them cooked evenly. Don’t overcook methi leaves or it will drain out all rich flavours.
You may feel the quantity of oil too less for the sabzi, and the onion might not get fried properly. I like them a bit undercooked in this type of sabji and hence I don’t mind using less oil. you may increase it to 2 tbsp if you like. Using more oil in green leafy vegetables’ dishes yields better taste in general.
If you like methi alu, here is another simple version, without garlic –
Jain style Methi alu