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Impulse buy - methi leaf - what to do with it?

I was blitzing through Grandmart and saw bunches of it. It looked so fresh and green, I bought a bunch. Came home and googled to find it is fenugreek and used in indian dishes.

What do you do with it?

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  1. There is a charming little Indian man on YouTube who has extensive chef experience for top-name hotels and releases cooking videos for authentic Indian cuisine. I haven't personally tried his recipes yet, but they sound delicious and Indian posters seem to rave about them in the comments. He has many recipes featuring methi leaf:

    http://www.youtube.com/vahchef

    2 Replies
    1. re: vorpal

      OMG, thank you, he is wonderful. I will be bookmarking and making his Bhuna Ghost and Cheese Chilli Toast over the holidays.

      1. re: tcamp

        I'd love to hear how it turns out if you give it a try! Bhuna Ghost has recently become my favourite Indian dish, but one that I have yet to try cooking at home.

    2. Funny you should mention methi. I made a mess of aloo methi just last night. It's basically baby Dutch potatoes sauteed and then braised in loads of butter and methi with dashes of garam masala, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Positively delicious.

      I would also add that the murg methi served at A Passage to India in Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania is one of the best dishes of any sort that I've ever been lucky enough to eat.

      Do some Googling and I'm sure you'll find all sorts of wonderful uses for methi/fenugreek. It is one of my favorite Indian ingredients.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Perilagu Khan

        I know this is the wrong board but do you think that Passage to India is otherwise worth a visit? We travel from NY to Ohio several times a year and my enthusiasm for "pennsylvania dutch" food as presented by the diners in that area shrinks with every trip.

        aloo methi is great stuff. a couple handfuls of cilantro and some osauteed nions also perk up the dish. pick the leaves off the stems though.

        ps - if you cook with methi your house will be perfumed for days, so be warned.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Perfumed, really? That is interesting b/c the bunch itself doesn't have any scent at all to it.

          1. re: tcamp

            Fresh methi should smell strong. If you can't smell it, it means you have a weak bunch and the flavor will be weak, too. You can enhance the flavor by stirring in a tbs of qasoori methi or dried fenugreek to whatever dish you cook.

            My two favorite ways to have methi are in methi pullao and also I love methi chicken.

            1. re: tcamp

              rub the leaves between your fingers and see if there is a smell (there should be). cooked it will have a pervasive aroma.

              1. re: jen kalb

                I will try that tonight when I get home, thanks.

            2. re: jen kalb

              "Yes" on A Passage to India. I've been to a lot of Indian restaurants and that one is near the top of the list. One caveat: haven't been there in five years, but my wife has, and says it is still very good.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                I second the recommendation for Passage to India, although there are some in this area that think that Aangan (another Indian restaurant near Harrisburg) is equally good or better.

                1. re: cheesemaestro

                  I went to Aangan once and found it a bit bland. The owner, however, was a very nice guy.

          2. I like a combination of methi and spinach for palak paneer. I have seen methi parathas at the grocery store, but I haven't tried them myself.

            1. Hey vorpal,

              Thank you for posting the link to vahchef's Youtube Channel.

              He is indeed very charming, and Indian food is my favorite, so I am very happy to have this link full of wonderful info!

              1 Reply
              1. re: aces551

                Glad to help! Here's hoping that he returns to making more videos in the new year! He vanished a few months ago and hasn't released a new video since.

              2. Also consider Ghormeh Sabzi, an incredibly delicious persian dish. You may see recipes where people attempt to make it without fenugreek, but they should really know better.

                Here is a good recipe:
                http://www.gastronomie-sf.com/2005/02...

                One thing I would add is pierce the dried lemons with a fork several times to allow for better transfer of flavors. Even better, mash up or grind a couple of them for an even better effect, just make sure to NOT include the seeds, as they can be quite a bitter surprise during eating. This is not a problem for the whole lemons as the seeds stay contained.

                1. In the Vij's cookbook there is a recipe for lamb chops with a curry made of heavy cream, paprika, methi leaf, cayenne, lemon juice, garlic and turmeric. Very delicious!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AndrewK512

                    The recipe is titled "Vikram Vij's Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry". I got it off the internet somehow, but don't have the link. One might Google it. I searched Chowhound for VV, and the only hit was to a thread that mentioned his cookbook. However, the following showed up in the thread: "Fr. Kitchen mentions Neelam Batra's 1000 Recipes book. Ive cooked from it and its interesting how different her flavoring palette is - she uses a lot of dried methi, for example."

                  2. Someone brought me oysters from Maryland after Christmas, so I can report that oysters on a bed of methi leaves (more or less Oysters Rockefeller but substituting methi leaves for spinach/watercress) are absolutely wonderful. Fresh methi should have a scent that is somewhat like roast almonds.

                    Wash it very thoroughly in several waters; it can be extremely sandy.

                    Add to cooked spinach dishes.

                    White fish (catfish is what I've used) on a bed of methi & spinach is delicious.

                    1. I've more than once read methi leaves compared to cilantro. Are they similar? I hope not because I HATE cilantro. If you like cilantro, there is no way the same thing (chemically) is happening in your mouth as in mine. I swear, it has to be biological and beyond anything like personal preference or acquired taste. Cilantro strikes my palette as a mix between lawn clippings and detergent. I try to be polite and not make faces, but you wouldn't believe how many times I've thought to myself "Perfectly good salsa, ruined by this noxious plant." I hope methi isn't like that for me.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: gregsamsa

                        Methi is nothing like cilantro. It is very strong though and has a bitter element, especially if it is good quality. I love methi with potato, methi chicken, or spinach leaves with a bit of methi thrown in to boost the flavor and add a bit more bitterness. Methi fish and methi pullao are also delicious. You have lots of options to choose from. A warning: After having a dish that contains a lot of fresh methi cooked in it, you will smell the methi in your sweat and urine the next day. Some people say it smells like maple syrup. To me it just smells like masala-armpit.

                        1. re: luckyfatima

                          I'm going to pretend I did not read "masala-armpit" and fix my imagination to the sticking point of maple syrup because that is a fragrance I ACTUALLY WEAR (I get the oil essence from a witchy Wikkan store). Plus, I didn't mean to come off like I'm allergic to bitter. I use instant espresso in my chilli so I know the value of precisely potent bitter. But, anyway, my response is WOW. Your wisdom seems so wasted on random crap like my issues with cilantro. We should fix that. I can't wait to get to Spices of India to buy some methi. On a side note, I'm in the middle of a weird cultural conflict. I love this store that is expanding by buying the historic ROUTE 66 BOWL bowling alley where many faboo rockabilly bands have blown it out over the last 50 years. It breaks my heart that this awesome venue where Wanda Jackson performed has sold out to be a grocery, but then the grocery is Spices of India. I'm torn like no one can understand.

                          1. re: gregsamsa

                            Hey, better a family owned small business than some giant chain.

                      2. Methi is incredibly DELICOUS. While I have never cooked with it personally, one of my favorite Indian dishes is called Methi Mutter Malai, which is methi leaves cooked in a creamy sauce with onions and cashew powder. It is off the chains delicious and somewhat sweet. I would try making that if I can ever find fresh methi leaves, but I am going to look for some dried ones today. If anybody knows if they are sold dried, let me know, I am also going to look into buying the seeds.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chefisanoverusedterm

                          Go to any Indian Store near you, you should be able to find the fresh Methi leaves in the Veggie Section, the dried leaves (usually called Kasoori or Qasoori Methi) and the seeds (look for Methi or Fenugreek seeds) in the Spice aisle. All three forms of the Methi in one store :-)

                          BTW: Fresh Methi Murgh is so delicious. Guess I'll be making that tonite ;-)