Aloo-Methi: Potato & Baby Fenugreek Masala

I have been on a mission to buy local produce as much as I can. I am by no means a food activist, nor do I purchase a lot of organic produce, and I probably leave a large carbon footprint with my purchase of imported goods…however, I thought I should try and learn a little more about where my food comes from. I have been wanting to go to the Mumbai Farmer’s Market for ages now, but end up getting lazy and sleeping in on Sunday. So today, instead of heading to my usual grocery store I decided to buy my vegetables from a lady who parks herself down the road from where I live.

She is a small-scale vegetable vendor, she brings in her vegetables from villages on the outskirts of Mumbai and sells them to people in my neighbourhood. It is not organic; I do not know whether it comes from an individual cultivator or an organised farm; I do not know if the cultivator is going to benefit greatly from my purchase. But I thought this was one (small) step closer to eating local…sometimes I’m moved to do something ‘green’ and this was my chance.

She had all kinds of leafy greens, and what caught my attention was this…baby fenugreek!

OMG, I was smiling like Rachael Ray after tossing up a crouton and baby arugula salad. I found a baby vegetable! I felt so cool! It wasn’t just the contestants on MasterChef Australia who could cook with baby greens! You get the picture. I was seriously stoked. (By the way, I have come to learn that this is called ‘barik methi’ in Hindi.) So I made aloo-methi with it.

ALOO WITH BABY METHI

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium to large potatoes, peeled, and chopped into small pieces
  • 3 bunches of baby fenugreek or methi, cleaned and chopped. (This should be around 200 grams.) You need to get rid of the lower half; the sprouty tapering tendril-like portions and keep the leaves and sturdier upper portion. If I had taken a picture, this step would have been a lot easier to explain!
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste

METHOD

  • Parboil the potatoes in water till they are slightly soft. Drain and keep aside. (You can choose to nuke them in your microwave or use a steamer or pressure cooker instead)
  • Heat the oil in a wok. When it becomes hot, add the ginger, garlic, salt and stir fry for a minute or two. Then add the onions and sautee till brown.
  • Add the potatoes and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add the methi and turmeric, along with the green chillies. Cover and cook on a low flame for 5-10 minutes.

You should avoid cooking on a high flame because this will burn the fenugreek. The trick is to let the leaves sweat, and if there excess water, turn up the heat for a minute or so till the water evaporates.

Serves 2-3. Goes great with rotis or phulkas.

This tasted as good as any aloo-methi, except that the flavour of the methi was not as overpowering. Baby fenugreek is less bitter than it’s adult counterpart (much like babies and adults amongst us human beings…what an analogy!) The texture was nice, like eating wilted sprouts.

Aloo With Baby Methi!

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