I love winter and all the fresh produce that it brings. If I were to list out my most favourite winter produce, fenugreek or methi greens would be right there at the top of the list, along with pigeon peas (tuver dana) and green peas. These days, methi is available throughout the year, but there is definitely something special about it in winter – it’s more fresh, more delicious, more lush.. and well, it spells out ‘winter’ to me. And there are few things better than using that gorgeous fenugreek in deep-fried Methi Na Muthiya. Perfect for snacking on cold winter days!
What are Methi Na Muthiya?
Methi Na Muthiya refers to dumplings made using fenugreek greens, combined with gram flour and a few other ingredients. Some people make them with whole wheat flour, too.
Muthiya can be deep-fried or steamed, and both versions taste absolutely delicious. Here, however, we will be talking about the deep-fried ones, which are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are lovely as a snack on rainy or cold days.
Deep-fried Methi Na Muthiya are often used in other Gujarati sabzis – in time, I’ll be writing about how to make those. They are most commonly used in Undhiyu, a delicious medley of winter vegetables. However, we make these Methi Na Muthiya slightly more elaborately than the ones used in Undhiyu.
How to make deep-fried Methi Na Muthiya
Please find the detailed recipe below.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 2 cups gram flour (besan)
- 1-1/2 cups finely chopped fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves
- A handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
- 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania) powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder
- 3/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
- 2 green chillies
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- Oil, as needed for deep frying
1. Wash the methi leaves and coriander thoroughly, to remove any traces of dirt. Place in a colander. Allow all the water to drain out.
2. Chop the washed and drained methi leaves and coriander finely. Keep aside.
3. Peel the ginger and chop roughly. Chop the green chillies roughly too. Grind the ginger and green chillies together to a paste, using a little water. Keep aside.
4. Measure out the besan in a large mixing bowl. Add in salt to taste, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, asafoetida, coriander powder, cumin powder, carom seeds and sesame seeds. Also add the ginger-green chilly paste we prepared earlier. Mix everything well.
5. Add the chopped methi leaves and coriander to the mixing bowl too. Mix everything well, using your hands.
6. Add the lemon juice to the mixing bowl.
7. Place the oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan, on high flame. Allow the oil to get nice and hot.
8. In the meantime, adding water little by little to the mixing bowl, bind the ingredients together to a soft dough that is neither too hard nor too sticky.
9. Make small oval-shaped dumplings out of the dough. Keep ready. You may grease your palms with a little oil, to help shape the muthiya.
10. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium. Add 2-3 of the dumplings into the hot oil, and deep fry till brown on the outside and well-cooked on the inside. Take care to not let the dumplings burn. When done, transfer to a plate.
11. Deep fry all the dumplings in the same way, a couple at a time. Remove onto a plate. Serve hot with sweet tamarind chutney or any accompaniment of your choice.
‘Winter Veggies’ theme at Shhh Cooking Secretly
I’m sharing this recipe with you all in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.
I am a part of the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, which is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers sharing recipes based on a pre-determined theme every month. Every month, the participants form pairs, and each pair exchanges two ingredients in secret, unknown to the rest of the group. These ingredients are used by each pair to cook a dish that fits into the group’s monthly theme. The other members try to guess what the secret ingredients could have been, from the picture of the dish. It’s super fun, I tell you!
For the month of November, Preethi of Preethi’s Cuisine suggested that we all cook using winter vegetables. I was paired with Seema of Mildly Indian for the month, who assigned me the secret ingredients of ‘methi leaves’ and ‘oil’ – just perfect to make our family favourite Methi Na Muthiya!
I asked Seema if she could make something with ‘broccoli’ and ‘salt’, and she put together this wonderful Baked Pasta With Brussels Sprouts & Broccoli. It looks so good that I want to eat it right off the screen!
Preethi made this beauty of a Thai Green Curry Peas Soup, a unique recipe in her trademark style. Brilliant it is!
Tips & Tricks
1. Adjust the quantity of salt, green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder and jaggery powder as per personal taste preferences.
2. You may add a little baking soda (or cooking soda) to the ingredients, to make the dumplings soft and spongy. However, I avoid this. The Methi Na Muthiya turn out soft and delicious even without the soda.
3. A little sour curd can be used in place of the lemon juice.
4. To make the coriander powder, dry roast some coriander seeds in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium flame, till they emit a lovely fragrance, about 2 minutes. Allow this to cool down completely and grind to a coarse powder. I make this in bulk, store it in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed.
5. Make sure the methi leaves and coriander are washed well, and that there are no traces of dirt on them. Chop them fine, for best results.
6. I make the cumin powder in the same manner as the coriander powder. I dry roast cumin seeds in a heavy-bottomed pan, on medium flame, for about 2 minutes or till they get aromatic. Then, I allow them to cool down fully and grind to a coarse powder. I make this powder in bulk, store it in a clean, dry, air-tight bottle and use as needed.
7. Make sure you add water little by little, while binding the dough. Use only as much water as needed to bring the dough to a smooth, soft consistency. The dough should not be too hard, and neither should it be too sticky.
8. Traditionally, these dumplings are oval in shape. However, you can make them in any shape you prefer.
9. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to fry the dumplings, with a generous amount of oil poured in. Fry the dumplings a couple at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Keep the heat at medium, for even frying.
10. Red chilli powder can be used in place of the green chillies. I prefer using green chillies, though.
11. Start frying the dumplings only when the oil is nice and hot. To check if the oil is hot enough, turn the flame down to medium and drop a small piece of the batter into it. If the dough slowly rises to the surface, the oil is ready for frying. If the dough settles at the bottom of the pan, it indicates that the oil needs to heat up further.
12. I have used store-bought gram flour (besan) here.
13. This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is a no-onion, no-garlic dish as well.
14. To make these Methi Na Muthiya gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the above recipe. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour, to a lesser or greater extent, and are therefore best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!