I am part of an exciting series hosted by my dear friend Viji of Virunthu Unna Vaanga and her partner Gathampari of Gat’s Samayal. Every month we are given a choice or 2 of a secret ingredient and we have to make a dish with the given ingredient. This month we were given Methi /Fenugreek (leaves and/or seeds) and/or Bottle gourd as our choice of ingredients. I wanted to make something that had both the methi leaves and seeds in it and that is when I remembered my mother’s recipe of Menthiya keerai sambhar that is loaded with the flavor of methi.
I grow my own methi and I can’t wait for my plants to start growing. Meanwhile, the other day my friend bought me some awesome looking fresh methi leaves and I was very excited to make this sambhar. This sambhar has only the methi leaves as the vegetable in it and hence the flavor and aroma of methi dominates this dish. The sambhar tastes great with some hot rice and dollop of ghee or also with Idli and dosai. This sambhar would also make a great side dish for Adai’s.
Preparation time – 10 mins
Cooking time – 45 mins
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients to make Menthiya Keerai Sambhar – (serve 4-6)
- Methi leaves – 1 bunch (large)
- Tamarind – the size of a lemon or 1 tsp of tamarind pulp
- Thuvaram paruppu/red gram dal – ½ cup (uncooked)
- Sambhar powder – 2 ½ tbsps
- Asafetida – ¼ tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 1 tsp
To season –
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Ullutha paruppu/urad dal – 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Procedure to make Menthiya Keerai Sambhar –
- Cook the thuvaram paruppu in pressure cooker with sufficient water until soft and mushy.
- Soak the tamarind in hot water for few minutes and extract the juice. You need about 2 cups of diluted tamarind water. Keep it aside.
- Cut the roots from the methi bunch using a sharp knife and soak the leaves in water in a large bowl. Using your hands shake the leaves well in the water to get all the dirt and the sand off the leaves.
- Leave the bowl undisturbed for 5 – 10 mins to allow all the sand and dirt to settle in the bottom. Then slowly lift off all the leaves from the top and you will notice that all the dirt would have settled down in the bottom of the bowl.
- Now coarsely chop the leaves and the stem. In a wide pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and add the chopped methi leaves/stem to it and sauté it for 5 mins.
- Add the tamarind extract to this and mix well. Add the sambhar powder, asafetida and salt and let the sambhar boil well. Let the sambhar reduce to about ½ its quantity (about 15 -20 mins).
- Meanwhile mash the cooked dal and add this to the boiling sambhar. Also add about 2 more cups of water and let it come to boil once again. Simmer the sambhar for about 10 mins.
- Fry the seasonings in about a tsp of oil and add it to the simmering sambhar.
- Serve hot with some rice or with Idli/dosai!
- I did not add any curry leaves or cilantro to the sambhar mainly to ensure that the smell of methi dominate the dish.