Fenugreek or methi is one of my favourite greens. In Bombay markets, we would find two varieties – one with the bigger leaves, somewhat milder and ones that were sold in tiny tight bunches, small leaves, more like shoots, and these were intensely flavoured. I don’t seem to find the latter in Bangalore, so I make do with the big leaf variety. Methi greens are bursting with freshness in winter and the aroma wafting through the kitchen is so delicious and warming on a winter day
I have quite a few favourite recipes with methi – the first one being Thepla, a Gujarati roti which has quite a few spices and is good to eat on its own. The other is a Methi Muthia that is added to Undhiyo, another Guju winter specialty. I also like adding finely chopped methi leaves sauteed in ghee, along with other spices to dal. It tastes unique and delicious. Do find kitchen gardening tip on how to grow methi at the end of the post.
Gujus love their theplas, they have it for a snack with tea, or even the previous day’s leftovers for breakfast. These also make the perfect travel food or for kiddie lunchbox. It’s dry and doesn’t make a mess, just roll one up and munch! This is an easy unleavened flatbread recipe with whatever fresh greens you can lay your hands on and trust me it is delicious
You can make this vegan by omitting yogurt, and using only water to bind the dough. A squeeze of half a lemon will give it some extra flavour, when you omit the yogurt
I know of Gujarati families that add a spoonful of sugar while binding the dough, again to balance out the flavours and to neutralise the mild bitterness of methi, but this is entirely optional. The mashed ripe banana is used for this very effect, so if you use that, then don’t use the sugar
Kitchen Garden Tip:
Soak seeds in water for four hours, discard floating seeds (these won’t germinate) and sow the others, in a flat tray with good quality soil + compost, or in the ground. Snip as you see methi leaves coming up and you will get new leaves again. This can be done for 3-4 times
Recipe for Methi Thepla