Of all the things you can eat, fenugreek (methi) seeds are perhaps among the healthiest. These tiny brown gems are an Indian cook’s weapon against long- and short-term ailments. Stomach upsets, colds, diabetes, cancer: there is practically no illness that fenugreek cannot cure or at least alleviate.
You may have seen me cook with fenugreek leaves on this blog (the delicious greens that sprout from these seeds), and I sometimes use very small quantities of the seeds in other dishes, including powdered masalas. They tend to be selfless background players, offering their delicious and healthful goodness without demanding center-stage.
So when I saw a recipe for Broccoli with Chana Dal and Methi Seeds on Jagruti’s blog last week where these seeds are the stars, I was really excited. Not least because it also incorporated two other favorite ingredients: broccoli and chana dal.
I didn’t have a whole lot of time after work to prepare for the recipe which does include 2-3 hours of soaking time for the chana dal and the fenugreek seeds, so I took a short-cut: I just cooked the chana dal without soaking it, and I also zapped the fenugreek seeds for five minutes instead of soaking them.
I didn’t play around with any of the ingredients, but I did move a couple of steps around: instead of adding the dal and fenugreek after the broccoli, I added them before so they had a little time to brown in the oil and get even more flavorful. And I cut down on the oil to just 1 tbsp.
I must say I was a tad worried that the dish would be too bitter because of all those fenugreek seeds, but surprisingly it wasn’t. Instead, it was just mildly and pleasantly bitter and the spices and the bland broccoli beautifully balanced out all the flavors.
Desi and I loved it: and the best part was we could eat all we wanted because this dish couldn’t have been any healthier.