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Green bounty

Methi aloo, the way we Punjabis make it, is different from my wife Alyona’s recipe, says Sanjeev Kapoor.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2009 20:47 IST

Do you feel a light nip in the air in the evenings? That could well mean that Mumbai is finally ushering in its winter season. The scene in the market definitely has a lot of hints that the season is cooler since there are a lot of greens available now. I picked up two large bunches of fenugreek leaves and am going to begin the season with tender baby potatoes cooked with skin, nicely embedded in sautéed fenugreek (henceforth methi in these columns, easier to say!)

Methi aloo, the way we Punjabis make it, is different from my wife Alyona’s recipe. I do not wish to repeat my recipe but Alyona first boils large potatoes and uses them without peeling properly sautéed with finely chopped fresh methi. And then she also uses methi in the divinely thin, slightly gur-sweetened methi theplas!

I usually suggest that methi is one leafy vegetable that should be there in your fridge year long. How it that possible? Buy large bunches when in season and then pluck the leaves. Let them dry up completely and then store in an air tight bottle in the fridge. When you need methi, just soak the leaves for sometime, drain and use as before. One friend uses this methi when guests arrive without notice. She chops onions and potatoes into small bits and adds dry methi leaves generously with finely chopped green chillies. Then she adds besan till well bound and fries spoonfuls for instant
delicious pakoras.

Pickles and more
The methidana is loaded with a bitter compound that helps to control diabetes. Once roasted, methidana will keep in an airtight jar for a long long time. Methidana is also used as a food flavouring in bhindi sabzi, pumpkin sabzi, Gujarati kadhi and tur ki dal. Sprouted methidana makes an excellent dry preparation that is enjoyed with thin paranthas. And who can overlook the pickles that use the strong taste of methidana extensively?

There is loads to cook with methi. Some ideas: methi tomato paneer, methi matar malai, methi parantha, methiwali machchi, besan poodey with methi and muthiya. And when you feel like having a one dish meal this biryani sure comes in handy.

By Sanjeev Kapoor – Master Chef, Author, Television Host. Reach him at enquiry@sanjeevkapoor.com