10 August 2014

Methi Sambhar

The versatility of methi...
Methi or fenugreek leaves are known to have quite a few health benefits. They are said to be a rich source of Vitamins E & K along with minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and many more.

Consider keeping a stock of lightly roasted and powdered methi at home.  Having a quarter teaspoon of this mixed in half a glass lukewarm water first thing in the morning is said to regulate blood sugar levels, neutralise acidity, is an excellent source of fibre and controls body heat.

 Soak a teaspoonful of methi seeds in a quarter cup water overnight. Drain and drink up the water on an empty stomach the next morning and grind the soaked methi seeds to a paste. Apply this on the scalp, leave for about 20 minutes and rinse off. Follow it up with a mild shampoo +conditioner wash. This will not only help control hair-loss due to body heat but also helps nourish the hair roots.

The methi leaves when used either in their natural or dried form transform the aroma and taste of any dish amazingly. Though ready made Kasuri methi is available in the market we can make it quite easily at home too.
Sort out the good leaves from the stems, wash and pat dry. Spread out on a plate or newspaper and leave out in the sun to dry naturally for minimum 2 weeks till it completely dries up.
Alternately you can use the microwave method, spread the washed and pat-dried leaves on a micro-proof dish and run on 60% power for about 5 minutes,  remove and lightly shuffle the leaves,  increase the power to 80% and micro for 2 minutes more. Remove and let dry for about 10 minutes till it cools to room temperature. Store in an air-tight container for future use.
The next time you want to give the boring rotis a skip, try adding a bit of kasuri methi to the atta. Add a generous spoonful to any bland curry to instantly spice it up.

An interesting dish that my mum prepares is methi sambhar that tastes simply divine with just about anything.

                                                             METHI SAMBHAR

Ingredients :
Methi leaves - 1 bunch (leaves separated)
Toor dal ( Split pigeon peas) - 1 cup
Imli - 1/2 lemon size
Sambhar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Haldi - 1/2 tsp
Chopped dhaniya
Curry leaves
For tempering :
Rai - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 1/2 tsp

Method :
1. Wash and pat dry methi leaves. Chop roughly. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the leaves for about 2 minutes. This helps reduce the bitterness of the leaves.

2. Cook the methi leaves till tender. Mash lightly. Wash and pressure-cook the toor dal with haldi till well done.

3. Extract tamarind juice and add to a thick bottomed vessel.

4. Add salt to taste, curry leaves and mashed methi leaves, let simmer on low flame till raw aroma leaves the imli juice.

5. Add the sambhar powder and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Mash the cooked toor dal and add to the vessel. Stir and continue to simmer.

6. Now add the chopped dhaniya and check for salt. If the sambhar is a little runny, dissolve 1 tsp rice flour in 2 tbsps water and add to the vessel. Let cook for 5-7 minutes more.

7. Prepare tempering by heating oil and adding hing, followed by rai. Once it splutters add it to the sambhar.
Serve hot.
Note : Another variation to try, grind together some shallots, unroasted coriander seeds and coriander leaves and add that to get a 'Hotel Sambhar'-like feel !!!


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