You guys probably already know of my love for winter produce, especially fresh methi or fenugreek greens. The gorgeous methi available this time of the year gives me a high – yes, I’m that kind of crazy. 😀 Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for one of my most favourite things to use fenugreek in, Aloo Methi.
What is Aloo Methi?
Aloo Methi, also called Aloo Methi Ki Sabzi, is a dry curry made using potatoes and fenugreek greens. It is quite a popular winter specialty in North India, especially Punjab and Delhi.
I have had the pleasure of trying out this curry several times, on trips to Delhi, and I find it absolutely lovely. The bitterness of fenugreek is beautifully offset by the potatoes, and the end result is this delicious confection that wins hearts.
A closer look at my version of Aloo Methi
There are a few different versions to the curry, and this is mine.
This is a rather simple dish to prepare, but one that needs care and caution and patience. Many use pressure-cooked potatoes to make this curry, but I find starting with uncooked potatoes gives it better texture. Using uncooked potatoes reduces the risk of the Aloo Methi turning into a gloopy mess.
In many families, the fenugreek leaves and potatoes are cooked together. The greens are added in when the potatoes are almost cooked. However, I prefer cooking the two separately – this makes sure both the potatoes and fenugreek are done just right, neither undercooked nor overdone. The time taken for cooking does increase when you use raw potatoes, though.
You can use any oil of your preference to make the Aloo Methi. Mustard oil is often used, which gives the curry a pungent smell and beautiful flavour. However, regular refined oil works just as well. I have used Idhayam Mantra groundnut oil here, which I think went very well.
I relatively lesser oil. There’s just enough oil used here to cook the potatoes through without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Some use kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to make this curry. However, I prefer using only fresh fenugreek in season. The fresher the greens, the better the curry tastes.
In many Punjabi families, I understand Aloo Methi is a very simple affair with only the most basic of spices being used. I, however, love to add in a bit of garam masala, some jaggery and amchoor (dried mango powder). I feel these additions take the taste of the Aloo Methi to a whole new level.
How to make Aloo Methi
Here is how I go about it.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
- 7-8 medium-sized potatoes
- A small bunch of fenugreek greens aka methi, about 1-1/2 cups when finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons + 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- 2-3 dry red chillies
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder to taste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
- 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
- 1 teaspoon jaggery powder
1. Wash the potatoes and the fenugreek leaves thoroughly, to remove any traces of dirt from them. Place the leaves in a colander and let all the water drain away.
2. Chop up the fenugreek leaves finely. Keep aside. I had 1-1/2 cups of the greens when finely chopped.
3. Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Keep aside.
Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Step 3
4. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped fenugreek leaves. Turn the flame down to medium, and add in a bit of salt.
5. Saute the fenugreek leaves on low-medium flame for 3-4 minutes. When they shrink in volume and are completely cooked, switch off gas. Transfer the cooked fenugreek leaves to a plate and keep aside.
6. Now, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Allow these ingredients to stay in for a couple of seconds.
7. Reduce the flame to low and add in the chopped potatoes. Mix well.
Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Above leftmost bottom: The methi leaves are cooked and ready, Leftmost bottom: Step 6, Bottom right: Step 7
8. Cook the potatoes on low flame for about a minute.
9. Add in salt to taste and the turmeric powder. Mix well. Let the potatoes cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes or till they start getting tender. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
10. At this stage, add in the red chilli powder. Mix well. Allow the potatoes to cook for 5-7 minutes more or till they are almost done. Stir intermittently.
Top left and right: Steps 8 and 9, Bottom left: Step 10, Bottom right: The potatoes are almost done
11. Now, add in the jaggery powder and garam masala. Mix well.
12. Add in the amchoor powder and the cooked fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
13. Cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes more for everything to get well integrated together. Stir intermittently. Your Aloo Methi is done!
Top: Step 11, Bottom left and right: Steps 12 and 13
Tips & Tricks
1. Do not use too much fenugreek, as it might make the curry bitter. The above quantities work just perfectly for us.
2. As stated in the post, you can use any oil of your preference to make the Aloo Methi.
3. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to make the curry, in order to prevent burning. Cook on low flame to ensure that the potatoes are evenly done.
4. The bit of jaggery added to this curry adds in a whole lot of taste to it. It does not make the curry overly sweet, but balances out the other flavours beautifully. I would not recommend skipping it.
5. You may use chana masala in place of the garam masala used here, or a mix of both. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.
6. Adjust the quantity of red chilli powder and amchoor powder as per personal taste preferences.
7. Be careful while adding the salt. Remember that we are salting the fenugreek leaves and potatoes separately.
8. Do not add in any water while cooking the potatoes. Cook uncovered.
9. You may chop the potatoes as large or small as you prefer. I like chopping them into small cubes for this curry.
10. This is a completely vegetarian preparation, one that is vegan as well. It is suitable to those following a plant-based diet. This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe too.
11. To make this recipe gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. 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.
12. I have used home-made garam masala and store-bought amchoor powder in this curry, both of which are vegan and gluten-free. However, if you are using store-bought spice powders, please do check the ingredient list to make sure they suit your dietary requirements.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!