A very tasty and healthy recipe for a Rice Pilaf with Fenugreek Leaves, also called Methiwara Chawar, made with brown rice, tomatoes and spices. A vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and nut-free recipe.
I think this was one of the first dishes I learned to cook, and I think it was likely because fenugreek leaves, or methi, and rice, are two ingredients that are deeply beloved in our home and therefore ones you are very likely to find in my pantry. Methi, especially, after a visit to the Indian or Asian grocery store.
If you have eaten fenugreek, you probably are a fan. Not only is it delicious, but it is also a health star. It fights off diseases like diabetes, reduces cholesterol, and has tons of good fiber that cleanses your system inside out. I love throwing handfuls of methi leaves in curries, and it makes a killer sabzi, or side, to eat with dal and rice. In this pilaf, it is excellent.
The original recipe, Methiwara Chawar, is a Sindhi dish, and I think I learned this particular dish from my first cookbook, Vimla Patil’s Working Woman’s Cookbook. It is one of a handful of dishes I know how to cook from Sindhi cuisine. Sindh is a province in Pakistan, and India’s Sindhi community is made up of migrants who chose to move eastward during the partition of India in 1947.
I have tweaked the recipe quite a bit over the years since I started to first make it. I use some garam masala to add more flavor. You can use either brown or white rice. If you use white, you will need to reduce the cooking time, and I’ll add a note on that in the recipe. If you are not used to fenugreek leaves, I would advise trying it out with a white long grain rice, like Basmati, first.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, all!
- 1 bunch fenugreek or methi leave , chopped (about 3-4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice , washed under running water and drained
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 medium tomatoes, pureed. This should make about 2 cups of puree.
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a saucepan.
- Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the fenugreek leaves and toss to coat with oil.
- Add the tomato puree and powdered spices and cook until the tomato begins to express oil.
- Add the rice. stir until it starts to turn opaque, then add the water and salt to taste.
- Bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice cook 50 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand 10 minutes before opening the lid.
- Fluff with a fork and serve hot.
You can make this with white rice. Reduce water to 2 1/2 cups and cook for 15 minutes after you cover with the lid.
More recipes with fenugreek leaves:
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