It’s wintertime & the season most of us look forward to for many reasons and to me, it is very special since it is time to relish the greens from the farms from sarson to methi and the list goes on! While the chilly mornings are a little difficult at times to get over with the due course of the day, does come by with many options to eat and enjoy satisfying the palate from the Garma garam chai to the Mooli ke Paranthey and not to forget the Gajar ka Halwa!
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Methi has been one of those greens which somehow taste much better during winters and the mere aroma of its leaves and the mouthfeel of it being cooked with a little tadka and spices and a hot phulka or roti on the side, shalgam ka aachar and a glass of lassi or chaas! Trust me you won’t be really asking for a better treat than this.
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Also called Fenugreek it’s a Latin word that means ‘Greek Hay ‘ beside the fresh methi, we also have the dried leaves called kasoori methi in Hindi, fenugreek seeds, or methi dana which are also used in many ways in our kitchens in Indian cooking. Kasuri methi is used in curries, dals and subzi, pulao’s, and much more with this herbed aromatic and nutritious ingredient.
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Health Benefits of Methi Leaves:
- Methi leaves are low in calories, help in managing weight loss & management.
- Fresh methi is good food for heart care.
- Methi leaves contain a good number of anti-oxidants.
- Methi has been considered good to manage diabetes.
- It is regarded as a good conditioner for the skin, reduces blemishes.
- Helps reduce cholesterol levels in our body, use if effectively.
- Methi leaves help cure bowel issues and helps prevent anaemia.
METHI TRIVIA – Some Points to Keep in Mind:
Fenugreek or methi leaves have been used as an important part of the greens category and it has medicinal properties as well for ages. The leaves are popular since they are aromatic and have a unique flavor to them. Though there are a few who complain about its bitterness, it’s a must-have in our diets.
Always select fresh methi bunches that are bright green in color, crisp and fresh to their best. Avoid if the leaves are dry textured or yellowish on the outlook.
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Methi seeds are a wealth of health benefits as per experts and a must to be on our kitchen shelf to use in a number of ways be it in small quantities but yes for sure, we usually add them to rasam, sambhar, and even curd rice. The best way to use them is to add them in a tadka mix to our popular kadhis, a few subzis as well can carry its values and taste well, at times I also powder them and use them in some recipes to avoid the crunch in the mouth. Some of us also have heard of having methi seeds soaked overnight in water and having them in the morning for weight loss!
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Culinary Uses of Methi Leaves:
- Methi ka saag is the most popular one which we find popularly being made in most of our homes, try adding a few additions in them sometimes like I usually add soy granules or aloo – wadis to them and they taste yum!
- Methi ke paranthey- yet another common sounding dish, try this one with a combination of methi with anardana, methi with grated carrots slightly saute it with garlic and chilies and stuff it into the dough. Use combination of flours like atta + soy flour, atta+ makkai + sunflower seeds powder, all the possible grains and gluten free options can also be tried once in a while.
- Methi aloo, methi gajar ki subzi, methi shalgam curry, methi makhane ka korma, Bhopla coconut methi stew, try adding saute methi with garlic or with some seeds like flaxseeds or pumpkin seeds into idlis and steam them.
- In the non-veg varieties recommended with methi are some options like methi, makkai aur ande ki bhurji, methi murgh kadai masala, Lasooni methi machli, jheenga methi jhalfrezi, methi mutton tava masala and many more.
- The point most importantly for me when cooking with methi or any greens is that we should not be over cooking them for too long, they are delicate leaves and cook in minutes, avoid covering and cooking them for too long or don’t really pressure cook them.
- Kasoori methi however plays a different role being in a dried form, try to dry toast the leaves on a medium hot tava for a few seconds, allow to cool and crush them between your palms add them to your tomato based gravies or masalas, curries, dals, subzis and even in a pulao, dough for parathas, naans or even your favorite biryani.
Here are a couple of my favourite healthy recipes with methi this season for all our readers to enjoy!
Recipe -1] Mazedaar Methi Aur Moong Wali Chaat
Recipe- 2] Methi- Makkai Aur Makhane ka Milan
Recipe -3] Chatpata Methi Masoor Ka Pulao
Recipe-4] Lazeez Methi Paneer
Recipe- 5] Dumdaar Methi Wali Dal
Recipe-6] Lasooni Methi Wale Chawal
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About the author
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – celebrity master chef - is a Mumbai-based author, writer, academician, food –health-lifestyle coach, mentor & consultant.
He is specialized in over 33 International Cuisines & has worked with brands like the Taj Group of Hotels, Kuwait Airways to name a few. Chef Kaviraj has been awarded several Global and National Awards for his outstanding performance and achievements in his chosen field. He has been featured on Star Plus and Colors Television on several food shows as well.