Methi Chaman

In our home, methi or fenugreek leaves are one of those vegetables that neither Desi nor I can have enough of. This is a rather pretty vegetable with small leaves and thick stems and a pleasantly bitter taste that mellows when cooked into a nutty deliciousness.

But the flavor, as addictive as it is, is not methi’s greatest or only asset: this is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, prized in Indian homes for its ability to improve digestion, fight cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels, among other benefits.

I love methi in almost anything: I add it to rice, dals, curries, pakoras, and subzis, and when I don’t have fresh methi on hand I add dry, or kasoori methi, which is available at any Indian grocery store, to effortlessly add a healthy and delicious punch to whatever’s cooking.

Today’s recipe, Methi Chaman, has got to be one of my favorite ways of preparing this veggie. For one, it also incorporates spinach, another green powerhouse, that not only adds more flavor and health to the dish but also mellows out the bitterness of the methi, making it an ideal introduction to this veggie for someone new to it.

This is an easy enough dish to put together, and one ideal for weeknights when you don’t have a whole lot of time to get dinner ready. You don’t have to do any chopping, except to get the toughest part of the stems out, because the veggies get pureed. And it goes beautifully with almost any Indian bread– chapatis, naans, rotis or parathas– or with some dal and rice. Traditionally a little paneer is added to the recipe at the end, but I just leave it out, or sometimes I add some pan-fried firm tofu. Potatoes would also be great in here.

Enjoy, all!

Methi Chaman (Fenugreek Leaves with Spinach and Spices)

(Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:

1 bunch methi leaves (about 200 grams)

1 bunch spinach leaves (about 200 grams)

1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil

1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tbsp whole spices (about 3 cardamom pods, 3 cloves, and a couple of 1-inch pieces of cinnamon)

1 tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan “butter” (optional but recommended for great flavor)

1 onion, minced

3 green chillies (like serrano), minced

1 tbsp ginger, grated

1 tbsp garlic, crushed or grated

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 cup chopped green coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Boil a big pot of water and add the spinach and methi leaves to the boiling water. Leave them in there for about three minutes, then fish out the leaves and, using a little water, grind them into a coarse paste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the whole garam masala, and the mustard and cumin seeds. When they sputter, add the onions.

Saute until the onion starts to brown. Now add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute.

Add the green chillies and saute another couple of minutes.

Add the coriander powder, stir to coat with oil and toast lightly, about 30 seconds, and then add the spinach-methi puree.

Cook the puree, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom, until all the water has evaporated and the greens start to express the oil. You do have to be a little patient and get to this step because that’s a good sign your greens are cooked and ready.

Now add the powdered garam masala and about 1 cup of water to the skillet. If you want a looser curry, add more water.

Add the vegan butter, if using, and salt to taste. Add coriander leaves, stir in, and turn off the heat.

Serve hot.

(Nutrition estimate per serving: Calories 110; Total fat 3.2 grams (Saturated fat 0.7 grams, polyunsaturated fat 0.9 grams, monounsaturated fat 1.3 grams), Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 5.4 grams, Protein 1.7 grams)

**
A note to my readers: I’ve started adding nutrition estimates to my recipes which I hope will be helpful to some of you. There are times when I might not have the values for some of the more exotic ingredients I use, in which case I’ll do my best to get as close as possible.

Have a great Thursday, all!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

16 thoughts on “Methi Chaman

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    divya

    February 17, 2011 at 5:01pm

    You’re really making me drool so badly. It looks very tempting…

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Manasi

    February 17, 2011 at 5:29pm

    I am a huge fan of Methi too. This is a must try on my list now.
    I usually make Palak- methi mudds bhaji & Bhakri that is a family fav.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anonymous

    February 17, 2011 at 6:05pm

    Vaishali,

    I could have sworn you had a post and picture of dinner rolls or buns you made using your avocado brioche recipe. I remember a photo of greenish dinner rolls looking buns. Now I can’t find it. I found the Avocado Brioche recipe, but not the buns/rolls. Am I crazy? If you indeed had such a page, please direct me to it.

    Thanks!!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    February 17, 2011 at 6:07pm

    Divya, Thanks.

    Manasi, bhakri with methi bhaji sounds fantastic. I have to make some bhakri soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Anonymous, No you are not crazy. :) The avocado rolls are in my last post–scroll down to the bottom of the Crepes Stuffed with Orange Cream Cheese recipe and you’ll find the picture of the rolls with a link.

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Priya

    February 17, 2011 at 10:10pm

    Wow wat a healthy and comforting methi chamman, soooo delicious..

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    VeganSolo

    February 18, 2011 at 2:41am

    I love fenugreek/methi too. Especially love the smell. Are you using fresh in someting like this? I have dried in my pantry, but fresh is not widely available…I was thinking of growing some this summer tho.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Cham

    February 18, 2011 at 4:25am

    I made methi with dhal for dinner, this one is highly green and very attractive recipe!

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    February 18, 2011 at 2:48pm

    Priya, Thanks!

    Vegansolo, You have to use fresh for this one, or the flavor won’t be quite the same. It is worth waiting for until summer :)

    Kurinji, Cham: Thanks!

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Chitra

    February 18, 2011 at 3:14pm

    Bookmarked !! was searching for this kind :) thnx.

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    T

    February 18, 2011 at 3:24pm

    Oooh what a vibrant color! That looks great.

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    February 20, 2011 at 8:56pm

    Chitra, T, Thanks.

    AMA, yes this would go perfectly with rotis and just about any Indian flatbread.

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Get Skinny, Go Vegan.

    February 27, 2011 at 4:20pm

    Our Indian store said that the “fresh” methi was only carried certain times of the year. Do you have a place you buy it year round or are you able to grow it yourself??

Thank you for visiting Holy Cow! I love hearing from you, so take a moment to say hello or tell me what you thought of this post. Thank you!