It’s all Fenugreek to me, by Jaspal Boyce


Fenugreek growing in a potFollowing the success of my vegetables in pots this year I almost neglected to mention my further experimentation of throwing a bunch of Fenugreek seeds in a pot to see what happens. Just watering as required and letting nature take its course, out sprouted these beautifully coloured oval shaped green leaves.

Fenugreek is grown around the Mediterranean, Argentina, Egypt and all over India, and my contribution has added Surrey to the list. This is an annual, and grows to 30cm-60cm tall, and likes mild climates. This year’s hot summer was perfect, and the harvest has been great

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Fenugreek (Methi, is its Indian name), it has three culinary uses: as a herb (dried or fresh leaves), as a spice (seeds) and as a vegetable (fresh leaves and soft stems if picked young). The whole plant has a pronounced aromatic odour and the seeds can be quite powerful, although cooking them does subdue the flavour.

I picked mine when the stems were about 20cm long and, as they were young, the flavour is more delicate then if left to grow more.  I used my pickings as a vegetable and made a potato and fenugreek (aloo methi) curry, which is a good alternative to the familiar potato and spinach curry (aloo sag).

If you want to give it a try this is what you will need:

Fenugreek seedsIngredients

4 small potatoes peeled and cut into four

A bunch of fresh fenugreek (methi)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped ginger

2 green chillies

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp asafoetida

3 Fresh tomatoes finely chopped
4 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

 

Method

Wash the fenugreek and chop the leaves and soft stems finely. Sprinkle some salt over them and keep aside for about half an hour.

Squeeze out all the water and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.

When they crackle, add the garlic, ginger, chillies and salt and then add the chopped fresh tomatoes

Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida and cook for about 1 minute

Then add the potatoes and the chopped fenugreek and  cook for about 15 minutes on a low flame.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Aloo Methi





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