I came across this dish when it was presented in a cookery competition in the Women’s Christian College in the 1970s. I was fascinated by the colour, texture, and flavour of this methi with potato. However, the recipe won only a 3rd place in the contest. I asked my student Samyukta for the recipe, and she wrote it out for me immediately. The original recipe was very spicy as Samyukta is from Andhra Pradesh. I have toned down the spice to give it a more subtle flavour.
In Tamil, Methi (Fenugreek) is called Vendhayakkeerai. It is harvested when the sprout puts forth just two leaves. Fenugreek leaves are available in the market as small bundles which are tied together to make larger bundles. I have given the count of the small bundles for this recipe as the number of small bundles in a larger bundle can vary a lot.
This dish provides calcium from the fenugreek leaves (400 mg of calcium per 100g) and energy from the potatoes and oil used. The tomatoes and fenugreek leaves both provide a very large amount of carotene.
- ½ Kg Potatoes
- 10 small bundles of Methi (Fenugreek/Vendhayam Leaves)
- 2 medium-sized Onions, sliced
- 3 Tomatoes, diced
- 1 T Garlic Paste
- 1 T Ginger Paste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 T Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 4 T Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- Boil the potatoes. Peel and dice.
- Cut the fenugreek bundle just below the leaves. Wash the leaves well.
- Boil 1 cup of water with ¼ tsp of salt. Add the fenugreek leaves and boil for a minute.
- Without turning off the heat, remove the leaves with a slotted spoon as the water is still boiling. Reserve the leaves. Throw away the water.
- Place the onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic pastes, turmeric, cumin and chilli powders, and salt in a mixie or a blender. Pulse till a smooth mixture is obtained.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet. Lower the heat and carefully add the ground mixture, stirring continuously till it blends with the oil.
- Cook the mixture on low heat stirring now and then till the oil begins to separate.
- Add the cooked fenugreek leaves and stir to mix well.
- Add the boiled and diced potatoes and stir. Cook on low heat till the mixture is well blended.
- Remove from heat and serve with Pooris or Chappatis.
- Fenugreek leaves are boiled just for a minute to reduce the bitterness.
- Fenugreek leaves have a lot of earth adhering to them as they are harvested from very close to the ground. It is therefore necessary to wash them well before boiling. After cooking remove the leaves while the water is still boiling and the leaves are floating. If you turn off the heat before you remove them, the leaves will settle to the bottom along with any dirt which was still adhering to them.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder because it has a mild flavour and imparts a lovely colour to the food.