I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to buying vegetables. I like to select each French beans pod, okra, gawar (cluster bean), you name it. I buy from this vegetable-vendor couple just outside my colony who have the patience for this whimsical habit of mine. They occasionally keep baby methi, or Barik Mehti/Samudri Methi, as it’s known in Marathi. Earlier, I had eaten this sabzi a few times and liked it. So when I saw these cute looking bunches of baby methi leaves, I wanted to try making it and see if Devansh would eat it. I want him to like all vegetables, and I believe these eating habits can only be ingrained if you start early.
When I made this sabzi for the first time, I didn’t add potato in it. I had heard that fish-eating people add fish in this sabzi. When I asked my cook about it, she said they add potato. So now-a-days I add potato in the sabzi, and Devansh and I both like the taste. Poatao along with grated coconut helps tone down the bitter taste of the baby methi. Now methi or fenugreek may be bitter but it provides several health benefits and must be a part of our regular diet. Like most leafy vegetables, this one too is a good source of iron. Apparently, fenugreek is also a good source of vitamin K, which helps in keeping calcium in our bones and out of our arteries.
It may take a while to cultivate a taste for this slightly bitter sabzi, if you are not a methi or karela fan. But it’s totally worth the effort due to nutritional benefits derived from its consumption. This sabzi tastes really yummy with jowar bhakri (which my cook makes; I don’t know how to make bhakri—yet). Devansh finds bhakri a bit too thick to eat, so I feed him the sabzi with chapati and curd, curd to tone down the bitterness. Do try this nutrition-packed barik methi chi bhaaji and let me know if you like it.
Baby Methi and Aloo Sabzi Recipe
- 10 bunches of baby methi fenugreek leaves
- 2 small onions finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized potato diced
- 1 green chili
- 2 tbsp grated coconut
- 1/4 th tsp jeera cumin seeds
- 1/5 th tsp hing asofoetida
- 1/5 th tsp haldi turmeric powder
- 1/5 th tsp red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- Cut one to two inches off the bottom of the methi bunches, and wash them thoroughly.
- Soak the bunches (leaves and white stems) in water for about five minutes. These leaves are typically grown in sand by the sea, so you might get some sandy residue.Strain the leaves using a sieve with circular holes (chalni) to get rid of all the residue, and wash them properly again.
- Cut these bunches as finely as you wish.
- Slit green chili vertically, take the seeds out, and slice it in two pieces. (If you are making the sabzi for kids, use light green chilies which are not too hot.)
- Heat a kadai, add oil, and then add jeera (cumin seeds) after the oil heats up.
- Add hing, haldi, and chili pieces, stir once and then add chopped onion.
- Sauté till the onions turn translucent, add diced potato, stir once and then cover the pan. (I use a regular kadai (not non-stick) and so I add 1-2 tsp water to the sautéd onion to prevent it from sticking to the pan.)
- Cook on low flame for five minutes and then add chopped methi.
- Add red chili powder and mix properly.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for five minutes. (I don't let the water released by the leaves dry up completely as I prefer a slightly watery sabzi for Devansh.
- You can take off the lid after five minutes and cook for some more time if you want dry sabzi.)
- Add salt and grated coconut, mix properly, and then cook for 3-4 minutes more.
- Serve hot with bhakri or roti, and curd.