Thursday, February 17, 2011

Methi Masala / Fenugreek Leaves Gravy

AKA Menthukura Pulusu / Venthaya Keerai Kuzhambu.....
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Regular calls to Amma(mom) back home, are not complete without an exchange of a recipe or what was the menu that day, how my Father liked it, or how my visiting brothers enjoyed her dishes. So much so that the making of this dish is totally inspired by her. Nearly every time she cooked it and my call came in, she would say how good it turned out and that I should give it a try.

Well, this is a common gravy/pulusu in Andhra, but somehow I always throw methi into dal to makes things easier rather than cooking it separately. But honestly this is one gravy you would really want to try if you havent' yet especially if  hail from Desh and love the combination of sour and sweet. The flavour is enhanced by adding fenugreek seeds and to the tangy tamarind gravy a hint of sweet is added to balance the taste that your taste buds will remember. Too bad that I end up eating extra rice when this is on my menu :(

Ingredients :
1 Bunch Fenugreek leaves /Methi
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3-4 Garlic cloves, cut thin.
1 medium onion
2-3 Green & Red chillies each
8-10 curry leaves
1 smal lemon size Tamarind ball
2 Tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp each of chilly, coriander (CC)powders
1 tbsp crushed jaggery, you can substitute with sugar too
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water for about 1/2 hour. Squeeze the juice into 2 cups of water. Keep aside.
Separate the fenugreek leaves from their stems, wash and chop them . Keep aside.
Heat oil in a wide pan/kadai, allow mustard to splutter, add fenugreek seeds, wait for a few seconds till a little color change and roasted fenugreek aroma comes out.
Add garlic and saute' till color changes slightly.
Add both the chillies, curry leaves, saute'
Add onions, and fry till translucent.
Now add the tomato puree, and cook till raw tomato smell is gone.
Add the CC powders and mix well and cook for 2 minutes
Add the chopped methi(fenugreek leaves), saute' for a minute, add salt and cook till greens are almost done.
Now add the tamarind juice, and bring it to boil.
Add the jaggery or sugar to the boiling gravy.
Here is the step by pictorial demo.
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Once the gravy is thick enough like the last picture in the above grid, you can remove the gravy from heat.
Add coriander leaves if desired.
Serve with hot plain rice, biryani, roti, paratha or chapathi.
Don't forget to include crunchy papadams when eating with rice.

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P.S. If you are unable to make egg plant gravy as a side dish to Biryani, I found out that this gravy goes too good with any type of biryani.

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