A dry curry with fenugreek greens (methi) and chickpea flour (besan) is a traditional Gujarati preparation. You will surely find this dish on the dining table of a Gujarati household, especially during the winters. The chickpea flour and the sugar added to the curry even out the bitterness of the fenugreek greens, making the taste absolutely fantabulous. It is a great, great way to incorporate the greens in your diet, I think.
Amma learnt how to make this curry from one of our Gujarati neighbours, back when we were staying in Ahmedabad. And then she went on to teach me how to make it. This curry has always been a hot favourite with me, and it still is.
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 1 large bunch or a medium-sized serving bowl of fenugreek (methi) leaves
- Salt, to taste
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar, or as per taste
- 4 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Place the fenugreek leaves in a colander. Wash them thoroughly under running water, ensuring that no dirt remains. Keep aside, and let all the excess water drain out.
- Meanwhile, dry roast the chickpea flour in a pan on low-medium flame, till it turns slightly brown and begins to emit a nice fragrance. Stir constantly. Take care to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Transfer onto a plate. Keep aside.
- Squeeze out any excess water from the fenugreek leaves. Chop finely. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow to splutter. Add in the asafoetida, and let it stay in for a couple of seconds.
- Now, add in the chopped fenugreek leaves to the pan. Turn flame to low-medium, and cook till the leaves are well wilted. This should take 3-4 minutes.
- To the pan, add salt and red chilli powder to taste, sugar, turmeric powder and roasted chickpea flour. Mix well.
- Cook on low-medium flame for about 2 minutes more, ensuring everything is well incorporated together. At this stage, if the curry feels too dry, you could lightly sprinkle some water or add a spoonful of oil to the pan. Done!
- Serve hot or after bringing to room temperature, with rotis and daal or kadhi.
- This is a dry curry and, hence, best served with a liquid-y accompaniment.
- Initially, you might feel that the quantity of fenugreek leaves you are using is way too much. When you start cooking them, though, they really wilt down to a very little quantity.
- While this is a very simple curry that needs very few ingredients, getting it right might need a bit of practice. I would strongly suggest you keep at it, though, for the taste is totally worth the effort you might be putting in.
- Using slightly more oil will give you a curry that isn’t very dry. I try to limit it to about 4 tablespoons, though, usually.
- This curry tastes best with sugar. Trying to substitute sugar with jaggery alters the taste of this curry, so that isn’t something that I would recommend.
- A dash of coriander and cumin powder OR garam masala can be added to the curry, too, but I like keeping it simple.
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme this week is ‘cooking with greens’.