Methi Bateta nu Shaak/ Fenugreek Potato Vegetable)
Weather in Mombasa
Once again the hot season has begun with a vengeance. It has become extremely hot and humid in Mombasa. Every time I go to my favourite green grocer shop, the owner complains about vegetables and fruits not reaching Mombasa on time because of the traffic on the Mombasa Nairobi Highway. Not much of a highway as its single lane on both sides. Till all these problems somehow get sorted, I have to get very innovative in the kitchen, cooking up the humble potato in numerous ways. Thankfully the small bunches of not so bitter fenugreek are grown locally. That’s what I’ve used to make a simple and flavorful sabji, shaak, vegetable or side dish.
Benefits of fresh fenugreek (methi)
- Fenugreek is a herb with impressive health benefits. Commonly used in many Indian dishes, its also used for medicinal purposes.
- Low in calories, ideal for weight loss.
- Lowers bad cholesterol and helps to increase the good one.
- Helps to control blood glucose metabolism in the body, making it ideal for diabetics.
- The leaves are a rich source of iron and its recommended to include this herb in dals and curries.
- I can now understand why grandmothers and mothers insist that after pregnancy new mothers should consume fresh fenugreek and also the seeds. Fenugreek helps in breast milk production.
- Fights kidney ailments.
- Beneficial for good bowel and intestine health as it helps to fight dysentery and diarrhoea.
How to include fenugreek leaves (methi) in your diet?
My absolute favorite way to enjoy fresh fenugreek leaves is to add loads of it in millet flour parathas. My kids use to love fried bajri dhebra, and I use to sneak in some fresh fenugreek paste into their favorite snack. Have you ever tried Methi Naan? Methi Paneer Bread (Fenugreek Cottage Cheese Bread) is another different way to enjoy fresh fenugreek. Try out a spinach and fenugreek combined creamy potato curry. Pavani makes an awesome creamy Methi Chaman (Paneer curry with spinach and methi). You may want to check out Mina’s Fenugreek and Aubergine Curry. I usually add fresh chopped or dried fenugreek(kasuri methi) to flatbreads, fritters, savory pancakes. Its such a versatile herb.
Methi Bateta Nu Shaak/ Fenugreek Potato Vegetable
Since there is a shortage of fresh vegetables in Mombasa due to congestion on the highway, whereby vegetables and fruits are not reaching on time, I have to get a bit more innovative with the available vegetables. I love making fenugreek and potato vegetable, though a dry version. It tastes really good with hot rotis, and a dal or lentil curry. It is not difficult at all to prepare this dish.
How to clean and chop the fenugreek leaves?
The main stem of fenugreek does not usually cook well, so the much thinner side stems are plucks and chopped. Sometimes the leaves alone are plucked and used. I like to chop fenugreek roughly or finely depending on the type of dish I’m going to use it for. Once chopped or plucked soak it in enough water so that the soil or sand is removed. Scoop up the chopped leaves or plucked ones into a strainer. Wash in this manner 3-4 times to remove grit. Spread the washed fenugreek on a kitchen towel or newspaper to allow it to dry a bit.
- This vegetable is gluten free if you don’t add asafetida.
- Vegan friendly.
- To make it satvik friendly, don’t add garlic paste.
Lets prepare this yummy vegetable and enjoy it with hot rotis, parathas or even puri. It’s a sure winner on any dining table.
METHI BATETA NU SHAAK /POTATO FENUGREEK VEGETABLE
5 medium potatoes (about 3 cups of tiny cubed potatoes)
2 cups finely chopped fresh fenugreek (methi)
3 tbsp oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
½ tsp ginger paste
½ tsp chilli paste
2 tsps garlic paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp dhana jiru (coriander cumin powder)- check tips
1 to 1¼ tsp salt
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into tiny cubes.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a wide pan, wok or karai.
- When it is hot add fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds.
- Add hing and garlic. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add turmeric powder and the cubed potatoes.
- Add salt, ginger and chilli and mix well.
- Cover the pan, lower the heat and let the potatoes cook till done.
- Add dhana jiru and chopped methi and mix well.
- Take the pan off the heat and cover it. Let the methi wilt a bit.
- Serve hot with rotis.
- If you want to cook the vegetable ahead, do so but do not cover with a lid when done. Re heat before serving.
- Make sure the potatoes do not get all mashed up.
- You want the diced potato to become a bit crispy, thus the usage of more oil.
- Can fry the cubed potatoes if you want the vegetable to be extra crunchy. Then follow steps 2 till 9 omitting step 7 and use less oil.
- Use thin skinned potatoes if you want to cook it with the skin.
- Dhana jiru or coriander cumin powder is widely used in the Gujarati Cuisine. Take 1 part coriander seeds and ¼ part cumin seeds. Roast, cool and grind to a powder.
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