Sattvic Tuesdays: Methi Dal / Lentils with fresh fenugreek leaves

Recipe: Tempered lentils cooked with tomato and garnished with methi/fenugreek leaves.

DSC01936      All across, I bet there will be more than 1000 ways of how to prepare a daal/lentil soup or curry, each one different with lentils, spices, tempering ingredients and all other additional ingredients that can go into preparing it. A little math, permutation and combination with the number of ingredients and you will get a large number…and that many ways one can make the curry !!! One of my friends asked if I use fresh methi leaves in curry, to which I nodded in a yes, but the most often and preferred way of including fenugreek leaves in our cooking is preparing it as a bhaji, a dry curry.
     This being sattvic recipe, meaning no onions, garlic and of course no non-veg ingredients in it, a perfect for any Hindu or Jain religious occasions and is vegan recipe too. I’ve combined two lentils, mung daal and masoor daal for the recipe. Once done garnish with some freshly chopped methi/fenugreek leaves.  So here’s the recipe for you’ll to try…

1/2 cup red lentils (masoor daal)
1/2 cup yellow lentil (mung daal)
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, chopped
pinch of asafetida
pinch of turmeric
1/2 tomato, finely chopped
salt to taste
1 cup methi/fenugreek leaves, chopped

1. Wash the lentil and soak them in water for few minutes.
2. Heat oil in a deep vessel. Add mustard seeds, as they splutter add cumin seeds and green chilies. Add asafetida.
3. Immediately add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric and water as required. Close the lid and let it cook.
4. About 15 –20 minutes on medium flame, the curry will be cooked.
5. Add the chopped methi/fenugreek leaves and close the lid. Keep for another 2 –3 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and serve as a soup or with plain rice or roti.

Preparation Time: 25 – 30 mins

Note: One can also separately cook the lentils and then temper it.
Variation: Use curry leaves for tempering if not using fenugreek leaves in the dish.
                      You can also cook the leaves along with the lentils; or use kasoori methi for garnish.


Amaranth Leaves / Rajgira Bhaji

     DSC01935It’s been sometime now with my last post, last month, not to mention how much of recipes I've missed posting as well as visiting. I believe everyone is enjoying the holiday season with lots of sweets, cake and other baked goods. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season !!
     Today’s post is a simple sautéed amaranth leaves, also known as rajgira or lal/tambdi bhaji in marathi, also named as Chinese spinach or Thai spinach in Korean stores that I frequent here for vegetables. I’ve posted the picture here, so you will know the regional names for the same. And for those who’ve never tasted this leafy vegetable, it’s a must try. I feel sad and sorry for whoever classified this healthy leafy vegetable as a weed..phew…. But anyways, these leaves are eaten in most parts of the world. Important to note is that the word Amaranth comes from Greek word, Amaranthos, which means ‘ that which never dies’. The Greek word root itself has a Sanskrit word ’Amar’, which means ‘forever’.
     I just pluck the leaves and the tender stems and do not chop. This, I believe gives a better taste to the dish than when you chop it. Here’s a simple and easy breezy side dish that goes well with chapati (tortilla)/bhakri. 

1 bunch of amaranth leaves (1  1/2 lb), rinsed
5 –6 big garlic cloves, minced
3 small green chilies, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
3 tbsp. oil
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric
fresh coconut for garnish (if required)

1. Pluck the leaves and break the tender stems in 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Rinse the vegetable.
3. Heat oil in a vessel or pan. Add the chopped garlic and saute till it turns slightly brown.
4. Add green chilies and onions and saute till onions turn translucent.
5. Add the vegetable, salt and turmeric. Close the lid and let it cook for 8 – 10 mins.
6. Remove from heat and garnish if necessary. Serve !

Note: Add very little salt, as the vegetable wilts, the volume decreases once cooked.
Other variation is to use a little daal (2 – 3 tbsp moong/masoor)while cooking.
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