Friday, September 22, 2023


By: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – Celebrity Master Chef.

It’s winter time & the season most of us look forward to for many reasons and to me it is very special since it is time to relish the greens from the farms from sarson to methi and the list goes on!

While the chilly mornings are little difficult at times to get over with the due course of the day, does come by with many options to eat and enjoy satisfying the palate from the garma garam chai to the mooli ke paranthey and not to forget the gajar ka halwa!

Methi has been one of those greens which somehow taste much better during winters and the mere aroma of its leaves and the mouthfeel of it being cooked with a little tadka and spices and a hot phulka or roti on the side, shalgam ka aachar and a glass of lassi or chaas! Trust me you won’t be really asking for a better treat than this.

Also called Fenugreek it’s a Latin word which means ‘Greek Hay ‘besides the fresh methi, we also have the dried leaves called kasoori methi in Hindi, fenugreek seeds or methi dana which are also used in many ways in our kitchens in Indian cooking. Kasuri methi is used in curries, dals and subzi, pulao’s and much more with this herbed aromatic and nutritious ingredient.

Health Benefits of Methi Leaves:

  • Methi leaves are low in calories, help in managing weight loss & management.
  • Fresh methi is good food for the heart care.
  • Methi leaves contain good number of anti-oxidants.
  • Methi has been considered good to manage diabetes.
  • It is regarded as good conditioner for the skin, reduces blemishes.
  • Helps reduce cholesterol levels in our body, use if effectively.
  • Methi leaves help curing bowel issues, helps prevent anaemia.


Fenugreek or methi leaves has been used as an important part of the greens category and it has medicinal properties as well since ages. They leaves are popular since they are aromatic and have a unique flavor to them.

Though there are a few who complain about its bitterness, it’s a must have in our diets. Always select fresh methi bunches that are bright green in color, crisp and fresh to their best. Avoid if the leaves are dry textured or yellowish on the outlook.

Methi seeds are a wealth of health benefits as per experts and a must to be on our kitchen shelf to use in a number of ways be it in small quantities but yes for sure, we usually add them to rasam, sambhar and even curd rice.

The best way to use them is it add them in a tadka mix to our popular kadhis, a few subzis as well can carry its values and taste well, at times I also powder them and use them in some recipes to avoid the crunch in the mouth. Some of us also have heard having methi seeds soaked overnight in water and having them in the morning for weight loss!

Culinary Uses of Methi Leaves:

  • Methi ka saag is the most popular one which we find popularly being made in most of our homes, try adding a few additions in them sometimes like I usually add soy granules or aloo – wadis to them and they taste yum!
  • Methi ke paranthey- yet another common sounding dish, try this one with a combination of methi with anardana, methi with grated carrots slightly saute it with garlic and chilies and stuff it into the dough. Use combination of flours like atta + soy flour, atta+ makkai + sunflower seeds powder, all the possible grains and gluten free options can also be tried once in a while.
  • Methi aloo, methi gajar ki subzi, methi shalgam curry, methi makhane ka korma, Bhopla coconut methi stew, try adding saute methi with garlic or with some seeds like flaxseeds or pumpkin seeds into idlis and steam them.
  • In the non-veg varieties recommended with methi are some options like methi, makkai aur ande ki bhurji, methi murgh kadai masala, Lasooni methi machli, jheenga methi jhalfrezi, methi mutton tava masala and many more.
  • The point most importantly for me when cooking with methi or any greens is that we should not be over cooking them for too long, they are delicate leaves and cook in minutes, avoid covering and cooking them for too long or don’t really pressure cook them.
  • Kasoori methi however plays a different role being in a dried form, try to dry toast the leaves on a medium hot tava for a few seconds, allow to cool and crush them between your palms add them to your tomato based gravies or masalas, curries, dals, subzis and even in a pulao, dough for parathas, naans or even your favorite biryani.

Here are a couple of my favourite healthy recipes with methi this season for all our readers to enjoy!

Recipe -1] Mazedaar Methi aur Moong wali chaat

Ingredients :

  • Fresh methi leaves- 1 cup, roughly cut.
  • Boiled green moong-1 cup
  • Boiled sweet corn- ½ cup
  • Boiled potato- ½ cup, peeled and diced.
  • Onions/tomatoes/green chilies/green capsicums- as needed for the chaat as per taste can be added.
  • Anardana- 2 tbsp.
  • Black salt- 1/4tsp
  • Crushed black pepper- ½ tsp
  • Roasted jeera powder-1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice- 2 tbsp.
  • Roasted crushed peanuts- 2 tbsp.
  • Mango pickle ka masala from the bottle- 2 tbsp.
  • Imli chutney-2 tbsp.
  • Mint and coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. for garnish
  • Chat masala- to taste
  • Papdi/sev as needed for the chaat.
  • Oil- 1tbsp.
  • Garlic- 1 tsp chopped
  • Spring onion greens- 2 tbsp. chopped


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the chaat.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine together the mango pickle ka masala, imli chutney, lime juice, salt and all spices, mix well and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, methi, spring onion greens, corn and boiled moong and saute for 2 mins and remove.
  4. Add all the ingredients to the dressing of the chaat and toss everything well.
  5. Arrange the chaat on a serving plate, garnish with anardana, mint, coriander, Papdi, sev and serve chilled.

Recipe- 2] Methi- Makkai aur Makhane ka Milan

Ingredients :

  • Fresh methi leaves- 2 cups. Leaves, broken into smaller pieces.
  • Boiled sweet corn- 1 cup
  • Makhana- ½ cup, fried or toasted and kept

For the Masala:

  • Oil-1 tbsp.
  • Ghee/butter- 1 tbsp.
  • Hing- ¼ tsp
  • Jeera- 1/2tsp
  • Methi dana- ½ tsp
  • Dried red chili- 2 nos.
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
  • Chopped green chilies- 2 tsp
  • Sliced onions-1 med.
  • Tomatoes-2 nos. puree.
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly roasted and crushed coriander seeds/powder- 1 tbsp.
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder- ½ tsp
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Fresh cream-2 tbsp.

Method :

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe.
  2. Heat oil/butter/ghee in a pan, saute the methi dana, jeera, red chili, ginger garlic, green chilies and add in the onions and cook till light brown, add little water if needed.
  3. Add in the fresh tomato puree, all powdered spices, salt to taste and allow them to cook on medium flame till oil comes out from the sides.
  4. Now add in the boiled corn, methi leaves and fresh cream and mix well, cook for 5 to 7 mins on low flame do not cover.
  5. Lastly, add the fried or toasted makhana into the subzi, mix well and serve immediately, garnish with ginger juliennes/fried red chili, serve with hot phulkas or rotis.

Recipe -3] Chatpata Methi Masoor Ka Pulao

Ingredients :

  • Fresh methi leaves- 1 cup. Roughly cut.
  • Whole masoor dal- ½ cup, soaked for 1 hour in water.
  • Pulao basmati rice- 2 cups.
  • Oil- 1 tbsp.
  • Ghee- 1 tbsp.
  • Bayleaf/cinnamon/black cardamom/green cardamom/ cloves- as per taste to
  • be added 1-2 pieces [ideally any 2]
  • Methi seeds- ½ tsp.
  • Cumin seeds- ½ tsp.
  • Ginger –garlic- green chili paste-1 tbsp. mix
  • Chopped onions- 2 nos.
  • Fresh tomato puree- 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder-1/2tsp
  • Coriander powder- 2tsp
  • Water- as needed for the pulao.
  • Fresh mint and coriander leaves-1/2 cup for garnish.
  • Fried brown onions-2 tbsp. for garnish.
  • Rose water-2 tbsp. optional


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the dumdaar pulao.
  2. Soak the rice and dal separately for 30 mins each.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add methi seeds, jeera, all assorted whole spices as per your taste, if you don’t prefer whole you can use 1 tsp garam masala powder also with the other spices later.
  4. Add the onions first lightly brown them add in the ginger, garlic, chili paste, saute for few seconds, add in the tomato puree, salt and all masalas.
  5. Cook the masala for 3 to 4 mins, add in the fresh methi, drained dal and rice mix it well with the masala and then add double the amount of water, bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer the pulao, add rose water if desired, low flame, tava below the container and some weight on top and allow dum or steam to take place inside the pulao.
  7. Once Done, mix well garnish the aromatic pulao with fresh mint, coriander leaves, brown onions and serve hot.



  • Paneer- 250 gms cut into cubes, fried for 2 mins and keep aside

For the masala:

  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Ghee- 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf- 1 no
  • Green cardamom-2 no
  • Black peppercorns- 3-4 no
  • Cloves- 2-3 no
  • Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
  • Garlic- 1 tsp chopped
  • Ginger-1/2 tsp chopped
  • Green chilies-1 tsp chopped
  • Onion paste-1 cup
  • Tomato puree-1/2 cup
  • Curd- ¼ cup
  • Cashew paste-1-2 tsp
  • Fresh cream- 2-3 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder-1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Fresh methi-1 cup chopped
  • Kasuri methi-1 -2 tsp
  • Sugar-1/4 tsp
  • Fried red chili/ ginger juliennes for garnish.


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe as listed above.
  2. Frying of paneer is an option, some of us use it the way it is as well.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add in the whole spices, cook for 1 min and then add in the onion paste, cook it on a medium flame, add little water as needed and once it starts changing color then add in the garlic, ginger, green chilies.
  4. Cook the mixture for 2-3 mins, add in tomato puree, salt, all masalas and mix well. Add in curd, cashew and cream as well and simmer, add fresh methi and kasuri methi as well and cook the gravy for 8-10 mins.
  5. Finally add in the paneer cubes, mix and cook in the gravy for 3-4 mins, garnish with ginger juliennes/ fried red chilies and serve hot with phulkas, rotis, parathas etc.

Recipe- 5] Dumdaar Methi Wali Dal


  • Fresh methi leaves- 2 cups
  • Yellow moong dal- 1 cup soaked
  • Oil-2 tsp
  • Ghee- 1 tsp
  • Hing-1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 8-10 no
  • Garlic- 1 tsp chopped
  • Onion-1 small chopped
  • Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Red chilies- 1-2 slit
  • Green chilies-1-2 slit
  • Salt to taste
  • Ginger-1 tsp chopped
  • Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder-1/4 tsp
  • Aamchur powder-1/2 tsp
  • Tomato- 1 small chopped
  • Water- as needed
  • Coriander leaves- 2-3 tbsp. chopped
  • Mix veggies- carrots/ beans/ peas/ cauliflower can also be added for color,
  • flavor, crunch and nutrients into the same recipe.
  • Sweet potatoes- 1 cup, cubed and half boiled are also a good choice to add into a recipe like this one.


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the methi wali dal as listed above.
  2. Clean the methi leaves, wash and soak the moong dal in 3 -4 cups of water for 1 hour.
  3. To start the cooking process, heat oil and ghee in a pan, add in the dry red chilies, fresh green chilies, curry leaves, hing, cumin, ginger, garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add in the onion and saute for a few mins, add tomato and the drained dal, salt and all powdered spices, bhunao for a couple of minutes.
  5. Now add in 2 cups of water, mix and simmer, cover and cook until the dal is tender with the steam in the pan, the recipe can be pressure cooked as well for 2 whistles.
  6. Check for the water content, keep it medium and not very watery. Adjust the salt to taste, add aamchur powder, coriander leaves and mix. Serve this methi dal with hot phulkas, rotis/ chapattis/ parathas etc along with a bowl of curd, salad/ pickle and papad.



  • Basmati rice- 1 and a half cup, cleaned, washed and soaked
  • Fresh methi- 2 cups, cleaned
  • Oil- 2 tsp
  • Ghee- 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick-1 piece
  • Cloves- 2-3 no
  • Black peppercorns- 3-4 no
  • Green cardamom- 1-2 no
  • Dry red chilies- 2 no slit
  • Green chilies- 2 no slit
  • Garlic- 2 tsp chopped
  • Onion- 1 small sliced
  • Ginger- 1 tsp chopped
  • Tomato -2 med chopped
  • Sugar-1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1 tsp
  • Red chili powder-1/2 tsp
  • Water as needed
  • Cashews and raisins- 2 tsp each
  • Fresh coriander leaves- 2 tsp chopped


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the Lasooni methi Chawal as listed above.
  2. Clean methi leaves, wash them well, roughly cut them and keep aside.
  3. Pick, wash and soak the rice for 20 mins.
  4. To start with the cooking process heat oil and ghee in a pan add in the whole spices to flavor the pan, add in the onions, ginger, chilies and saute them for a few seconds, add in garlic and tomato. For a non-veg option, we can also add chicken pieces, prawns, fish, chicken sausages as well in the same recipe.
  5. Start with adding salt, all the powdered spices, drained rice, methi leaves and give it all a nice mix. Add double the quantity of hot water as compared to the rice and bring to a boil, simmer the flame, cover and cook the rice until the liquid gets absorbed.
  6. Serve the rice with boondi- anar ka raita, papad, pickle and garnish it with cashews, raisins and fresh coriander leaves.
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