Methi Muthia Tuvar Nu Shaak
THEME:#177 MAGIC OF FRESH METHI
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday and a wonderful start to the new Year. As for me, I can’t complain about the start but it hasn’t been exactly very smooth. US visa application took hours to fill, somehow they have not managed to get their online application forms user friendly like the ones for UK or Schengen visa. I so missed the easy and direct Queen’s English on the forms. For me when it says entire transaction it means the transaction for all the applicants. But they have a different idea..pay individually!
Anyway, tomorrow hubby and I will be making our to Nairobi for our visa appointment on Wednesday. I’m a bit excited, no not about entering the heavily guarded embassy but we are traveling by the newly constructed SGR(standard gauge rail) train. We’ll be passing through the Tsavo National Park and hopefully we’ll spot some wildlife on the way. Any train journey is exciting for me.
After a well deserved break, FoodieMonday/Bloghop team are back. We are starting the year off with some healthy fresh methi or fenugreek. The theme was suggested by Sasmita who blogs at First Timer Cook.
Methi features in my cooking quite often and I’m lucky that we get it the whole year round. I use in theplas, handvo, muthia, rice, chilas, bread, add it along with other vegetables to make a different tasting curry or sabji.
When Sasmita suggested methi, immediately what came to my mind was methi muthia(fenugreek dumplings). These are slightly different from the regular muthia that I make. These muthias are fried and added along with other vegetables to prepare a curry, sabji or shaak, made on their own in a tomato gravy or enjoyed on their own as a snack. Many steam the batter instead of frying it to make the famous snack called muthia but I prefer to make them the way my mother in law taught me, they are much softer and one can add a larger quantity of vegetables in the batter.
You will find that fried muthia or dumplings are commonly added in a variety of Gujarati curries or shaaks especially during special occasions. My mother in law would always make mixed green vegetables and add fried muthia whenever we had guests over for dinners or lunches. I would have preferred to make the mixed green vegetable curry but since here in Kenya its the hot season, all the fresh greens are hard to come by.
The next best option was to use fresh tuvar (pigeon peas) and eggplant. I decided to make the gravy using eggplants and added the cooked tuvar and fried muthia to it. Surprisingly the shaak or curry turned out so delicious. Served with hot rotis and a cold glass of chaas, it was perfect for lunch.
Let me take you step by step as to how to prepare this delicious curry.
METHI MUTHIA TUVAR NU SHAAK
For the methi muthia (fenugreek dumpling):
1 cup besan, chana or chickpea flour
2 cups finely chopped fresh methi (fenugreek)
4 tbsp sooji (semolina)
¼ tsp baking soda (soda bicarbonate)
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp oil
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ – 1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp dhana jiru (coriander cumin powder)
¼ tsp carom seeds (ajmo, ajwain)
½ tsp coarsely crushed coriander seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
oil to deep fry
For the curry (shaak, sabji):
400g eggplants (baigan, ringad, aubergine)
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
1 cup boiled fresh tuvar (pigeon peas)
¼ tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-1½ tsp salt
1 tsp dhana jiru (coriander cumin powder)
½ tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp powdered jaggery (gur)
½ cup water
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Preparation of the muthia:
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except the oil for frying. The mixture or dough should be a little stiff.
- Let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a pan, wok or karai over medium heat.
- In the meantime, wetting your hands with water or greasing them with oil, take about a teaspoonful of the dough and roll it into an oval shape.
- Repeat step 4 with the remaining mixture.
- Put a tiny piece of the dough in the hot oil. If it sizzles and comes up immediately then the oil is ready.
- Lower the heat and add the rolled muthia or dumpling 6-8 at a time.
- Fry them, turning them over frequently till they turn golden brown.
- Keep the fried muthia on the side till required.
Preparation of the curry (shaak, sabji):
- Roast the eggplant over open flame or in the oven. I prefer to roast it in the oven. Cut the eggplants into halves, brush them with little oil and bake them at 180°C for 20-30 minutes.
- Peel the skin off and mesh the eggplants.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add methi seeds and wait till they begin to sizzle.
- Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
- Add garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.
- Add ginger and chili paste. Mix well.
- Add hing, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dhana jiru and mix well.
- Add the meshed eggplant, boiled tuvar, salt, jaggery and water.
- Mix well and let it simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Add about 12-14 muthias and garam masala. Mix well gently, cover and let the curry rest for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander and serve with rotis or rice.
- What do you do with the remaining muthia? Well, enjoy them with your favorite chutney as a snack or save them in the freezer to add them to another curry.
- Enjoy the remaining muthia with some chutney.
- You can use the remaining muthia to make a muthia tomato curry.
- You can add muthia to a mixed sabji of peas, hyacinth beans, papdi, valor, fresh corn etc.
- Make sure the dough for the muthia is quite stiff. You should be able to roll it into an oval.
- For a vegan version of this recipe avoid using dairy yogurt and replace with vegan yogurt or add more lemon juice.
- For a gluten free version replace semolina with fine maize meal.
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