We, as a family, are big fans of fresh methi or fenugreek greens (‘menthiyakeerai‘ in Tamil). We make it a point to consume them throughout the year, but the beautiful, big, fat, fresh bunches of these greens that are available right about now simply refuse to be ignored. In winters, I cannot resist picking up a fresh bunch of methi greens whenever I visit the vegetable vendor’s – I love adding them to just about anything I am cooking. We adore the slightly bitter taste of these leaves, the lovely flavour they impart to dishes. The most recent experiment in my kitchen with them was this Menthiyakeerai Thokku or a Fenugreek Greens Pickle, which turned out absolutely, finger-lickingly delicious.
Methi leaves have numerous health benefits – they aid in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, help cure anemia, improve skin health, aid in better breast milk production and help in regulating gastrointestinal issues, among other things. Methi leaves are also a rich source of iron, fibre, magnesium, manganese and protein. This Fenugreek Greens Pickle is a great way of including the greens in our daily diets, a highly delish one at that. And, for those of you who are wondering, no, the pickle doesn’t taste bitter at all! 🙂
Now, let’s check out the recipe for this Menthiyakeerai Thokku aka Fenugreek Greens Pickle!
Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):
- 2 tightly packed cups fenugreek greens aka methi leaves
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- A sprig of curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons of oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 2 tablespoons of jaggery powder or to taste (gur)
- A small gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind (imli)
- 6 dry red chillies (sukhi lal mirch)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
1. Soak the tamarind in a little warm water for at least 10 minutes. When the tamarind turns soft, keep it aside, along with the water it was soaked in.
2. Chop the fenugreek greens finely. Keep aside.
3. Peel the onion, ginger and garlic cloves. Chop roughly. Keep aside.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute on medium heat till the onion changes colour, about 2 minutes.
5. Now, add fenugreek greens to the pan. Saute on medium heat till the greens wilt and shrink, about a minute.
6. Add the softened tamarind (reserve the soaking water for grinding later) to the pan. Also, add the dry red chillies. Saute on medium heat for a minute. Switch off the gas and allow the ingredients to cool down fully.
7. When all the roasted ingredients have fully cooled down, transfer them to a mixer jar. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, jaggery powder and the water the tamarind was soaked in. Grind everything together to a fine paste. Use a little more fresh water if necessary.
8. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same pan you used earlier. Add mustard and allow it to sputter. Add curry leaves and asafoetida, and turn heat down to medium. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
9. Now, add the ground paste to the pan. Mix well with the tempering. Stirring constantly, cook everything together for a minute. Done! The Menthiyakeerai Thokku is ready.
10. Allow the thokku to cool down completely before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight container.
1. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies, salt, jaggery and tamarind as per personal taste preferences.
2. Use very fresh methi leaves, for best results.
3. Gingelly oil works best in the making of this thokku. However, if you don’t have it, you may use any other oil of your choice.
4. When stored at room temperature and handled hygienically, this Fenugreek Greens Pickle stays well for about a week. Refrigeration will prolong its shelf life further.
5. Ensure that the ingredients do not burn while frying. Keep the heat at medium.
6. Make sure all the fried ingredients have completely cooled down, before grinding.
7. You may grind the fried ingredients coarsely or to a smooth paste, as per your personal preference. I prefer making a smooth paste.
8. You may omit the garlic if you don’t want to use it. Personally, I would suggest keeping it in, though.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is #MagicOfFreshMethiLeaves, suggested by the talented Sasmita of First Timer Cook. Members are required to prepare recipes using the lovely fresh fenugreek greens available this time of the year, for the theme.
Want to check out the other methi recipes on my blog? Here you go!