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Saturday, 25 February 2006

aloo methi


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aloo methi Reading Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid is doing wonderful things for our table!! Not to mention getting reinforcement from Barbara Fisher (Tigers and Strawberries), who recently posted about making aloo methi (potatoes and fenugreek leaves).

We had just recently used methi in one of my favourite dishes: dhansak. T was not as thrilled about the dhansak as I was but he did say he loved methi. So when I mentioned that Barbara had made aloo methi, his eyes lit up and he said he’d make it for me.

methi closeup (tph feb2006)Methi is quite pretty – small oval shaped darkish green leaves. Alas, we didn’t take a photo of the methi before we cooked it. edit 28 February 2006 09:46 EST: While in the process of putting together a post about dhansak, I saw that T took a photo of methi. Barbara did as well and you can see what fenugreek leaves look like on her post about aloo methi. You can also see her recipe for aloo methi there.

But I suspect that there are probably as many recipes for aloo methi as there are kitchens that prepare it. Here is what T did:

Alu Methi (Potato and Fenugreek Leaves) Curry


  • ¼ c vegetable oil (canola, safflower, sunflower,…)
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of fenugreek powder (powdered fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh methi
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Clean methi well and discard the thick tough stems.
  2. Coarsely chop onion, ginger and garlic.
  3. In a separate pile, coarsely chop fresh methi.
  4. Slice the potatoes to about ¼ inch thick.
  5. Place wok on medium high and heat the oil until just about smoking.
  6. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and wait 5 or 10 seconds until they begin to pop.
  7. Add turmeric and fenugreek powders followed immediately by the onion, ginger and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until the edges begin to color.
  8. Add the potatoes and stirring occasionally, cook covered until they are almost done.
  9. Add the fresh methi and cook uncovered, stirring from time to time, until tender.

Serve with steamed rice or Indian bread.

We had our aloo methi with steamed rice and a spectacular Bengali style fish curry, which I will post about soon. But in the meantime, go quickly (do not pass go; do not collect $200) to your Indian market and buy a bunch of methi so you too can have aloo methi. It’s fabulous.

If you looked at Barbara’s recipe, you’ll have seen that she adds kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to her aloo methi. I looked for it at our local smallish Indian grocery store but didn’t see it on the shelves. T says he doesn’t recall ever having it but that’s not to say he hasn’t… next time we’re in Indiatown, we’ll look there. Or I suppose we could get more fresh methi and hang it upside-down to dry it ourselves. There is something compelling about the different flavours that occur when herbs are fresh or dried. (When we do get more methi, remind me to take a picture!)


edit 27 February 2006 09:36 EST: Yesterday, when we were buying sooji (semolina) at an Indian grocery store, I saw a small box of kasoori methi – the same brand as Barbara uses. But I’m afraid, I didn’t buy it… but next time we make aloo methi, I’ll certainly consider getting some to try it.
Incidentally, we were buying the sooji to use in place of semolina flour when we make fresh pasta. As far as we can tell, it’s the same thing. The only difference is the price. For some bizarre reason, “sooji” from the Indian grocery store is far less expensive than “semolina flour” from an Italian grocery store.



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