The word Fenugreek or Methi (Hindi, मेथी) is not new to cooking. It is believed to be in use as a fodder crop since 2nd century BC and hence named “Greek Hay”. Frequently used both as an herb and a spice, Fenugreek is supposed to control blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels. Refer
Methi is available in three forms: fresh green leaves, amber colored seeds, dried greenish-brown leaves. I use the fresh leaves ( when available) to make the authentic Konkani curry called “Methiye-palle-sukke”. Essentially it is fresh methi leaves, sautéed with onions and potato in a coconut based curry.
The methi seeds always find their way into the Idli or Dosa batter (I learnt this from my Mom, to make softer idlis and fluffier dosas). And sometimes in regular drinking water or tempered buttermilk.
My favorite of them all is the Kasuri Methi or dried fenugreek leaves. Being extremely aromatic, the leaves impart a unique flavor when used with regular dals and plain white rice. I make sure the leaves are sautéed well along with other spices, seasoning or sometimes vegetables to release their characteristic fragrance and essence; I find this as an effective way to suppress the bitterness of the leaves.
I love pairing Kasuri Methi with potatoes. I consider these Fenugreek'ed Potatoes...as I term them... an offshoot of the "Methiye-palle-sukke", without the coconut and onions. Its an easy and simple side, that pairs well with roti or dal-chaawal( rice and dal). More so for weekday dinners. I typically use fingerling potatoes for this as they are small and easy to dice into bite size discs or cubes.
7-8 fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons Kasuri Methi
½ teaspoon red Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Coriander-Cumin Powder
2 ½ teaspoons Oil
Pressure cook , microwave or boil potatoes till done. Strain and allow to cool. Peel potatoes, cut into small discs or bite size cubes. Sprinkle salt and amchur (optional) and toss well so that the potatoes are evenly coated. Set aside.
Instead of boiling the potatoes you could skin and use raw potatoes. I prefer being conservative with oil, especially when it comes to potatoes, hence boil them and reduce the amount of oil that the recipes call for. If using raw potatoes you may want to increase the amount of oil. Same with the size of the cubes or discs - the smaller the size, the faster the cooking, the lesser the oil.
Amchur provides a tangy flavor to the potatoes. Its entirely optional to use it for this dish.
Heat oil, add the powders, add Kasuri Methi and sauté for 3-4 mins on medium flame using a pan with handle or wok with ears for grip. Add potatoes, mix well by tossing with the help of the ears of the wok or handle of the pan.
Avoid using a spatula to mix to prevent the potatoes from mashing. Caution: Take care not to spill on self while tossing.
Cook on low to medium-low flame, uncovered for 8-10mins, till the potatoes are coated with the fenugreek leaves. Toss every 3-4 mins to ensure the potatoes are evenly coated.