Growing up in the era when we had to eat what moms cooked with very few choices. We had to eat what was served in the plate, if we like it get the second, third(?) helping and finish everything in plate. I think these were the rules in almost all households back then. Even parents did not have many choices back then. Store bought food was considered to be made with substandard material and not very hygienic. When I see my friends make parathas, burgers, pastas for their kids and the kids make fuss about everything their parents ask them to eat. And I wonder when did it all change? How did this happen?
I still remember when I was a kid I did not like to eat roasted garlic in the dry vegetables my mom used to make. It was combination of taste and smell that put me off. But I was not allowed to throw even that and my mom never removed it before serving me. I am not complaining now but used to complain a lot back then. I am glad that she made me eat everything. I survived through hostel life where only kerosene stoves were allowed in the rooms. We rarely had time to cook and we had to eat in the hostel cafeteria (or mess as we called it). They would serve one leafy vegetable almost every alternate night with bhakari. Most of the time it was plain methi sautéed just with salt.
Today I am going to share amped up version of methi bhaji. This is one of the first vegetable learned to cook. It is one vegetable that is available everywhere in India. Its very easy to grow even on the window sill. As far as I remember we get more methi crop in winter than in summer in Maharashtra. Fresh jowar (sorghum) bhakari and methi bhaji with may be bit of lasun chutney is to die for. We would eat freshly churned butter with with combo back then. It used to be heaven on the plate.
1 Methi/Fenugreek bunch
4-5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup Toor Daal
1 small onion
1 tsp Goda Masala
Salt, red chili powder per taste
2 tbsp Oil
For tempering - cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder, asafoetida
Soak toor daal for at least half an hour in warm water. Pick the methi leaves from the bunch. You can use the stems if they are tender. Wash methi thoroughly to remove any dirt. Chop it fine and keep it aside.
Finely chop onions. Smash or chop garlic.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add cumin, mustard, asafoetida, turmeric, curry leaves one by one. Let the seeds sizzle and then add chopped onion.
Saute onion till golden brown before adding chopped garlic.
Drain soaked daal and add it to the onion. Add red chili powder, goda masala, salt. Mix it well. Let the daal cook partially before adding chopped methi. Mix everything together and cover with tight lid.
Let everything cook for 4-5 minutes. Mix well, adjust seasoning if needed. Serve warm with chapati or bhakari.
- Mung daal also tastes good in this bhaji.
- You can add a pinch of sugar at the end if you like.
- If you cant get fresh methi then you can use frozen methi. Thaw and squeeze excess water before using it.