Tucked away among the tiny villages in the colorful and beautiful deserts of Rajasthan, nestles a oasis surrounded by cool shady trees. This haven of peace is the Ashram – Bala. We had the privilege to visit this place last time we visited Jaipur and paid our respects to SatiMata. We also had the privilege to have our lunch here, inside the cool thick walls where no air condition is needed even when it is 90 degrees outside.
Along with all the other delicious dishes we had for lunch, there was this particular dish which I liked the best even though I did not and could not figure out what I was eating, other than it had cubes of potatoes in it. This was something which I had never eaten before… Later I had found out that the main ingredient which felt like a kind of lentil to me, was actually green fenugreek(methi) seeds cooked like a vegetable!! I cook green fenugreek (methi) leaves, use the seeds and Kasuri Methi as spice/seasoning. But never ever did I imagine that the unripened fenugreek seeds can be cooked too. They lack the bitterness of the seeds which we usually use as spice.
I never found green fenugreek seeds here, but I was suggested to soak the regular ripened fenugreek seeds overnight as an alternative. This takes away some of the bitterness (they are still a wee little bitter), and also swells up to a soft plump, which makes it possible to cook it like a vegetable.
This dish is so very different. I was just going to post it when I came across the Herb Mania Fenugreek Event. What timing!!
- 1/4 cup Fenugreek(Methi) seeds
- 2 medium sized Potatoes
- 1 inch ginger peeled
- 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
- 4 Hot Green Peppers (like Serrano)
- 1 Tomato chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
- 2 teaspoons Red Chili Powder (adjust to your taste)
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 3 tablespoons Oil
- 1 tablespoon Plain Yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Ghee (for Tarka)
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (for Tarka)
- 1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro for garnish
Soak the fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Wash them thoroughly and strain out the water.
Peel and cut the potatoes in to 1″ cubes. Sprinkle salt and turmeric on them and set aside. Heat oil and fry the potatoes till they start to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Blend Ginger, hot green pepper, garlic and tomato in a puree. Pour this in the same oil the potatoes were fried and simmer till the oil separates from the sides. Add the Potatoes and the Fenugreek seeds. Mix it so the pureed tomato and ginger garlic coats the potatoes and the seeds. Fry for about 8 – 10 more minutes.
Mix Turmeric, salt, coriander powder and red chilli powder in half cup of water and pour it in the pan. Cover and cook till the potatoes are tender. It should not dry up completely. There should be enough water to coat the potatoes and the seeds and a little bit more. Add more water if its too dry. Add the Plain yogurt mixed with little water. Simmer uncovered at low heat for another 10 minutes.
Switch off the heat. Now for the Tarka, heat the ghee and when smoking hot add the chilli powder and immediately pour it on the potatoes and fenugreek. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with Poori or any Indian bread. Best tasted with Poori and Shrikhand on the side.