Aloo Methi: Potato Fenugreek Stir-Fry

13 Nov

Aloo Methi

One of the joys of winter is getting to cook with in-season fresh fenugreek leaves. Lush green and fragrant, fenugreek leaves lend their distinct character to any dish they are part of (case in point: methi chhole). In aloo methi (potato fenugreek stir-fry), fenugreek leaves find a happy companion: the creamy earthiness of aloo makes a welcoming base for bitter green methi.

I cook aloo methi in mustard oil, bhujiya-style: in Bihar, bhujiya is a dry vegetable side dish cooked with more mustard oil than what you’d usually use for a curry. Bhujiya does not call for too many spices other than the chaunk, relying on mustard oil for its flavor. On overnight train journeys, or in college hostels with no access to a fridge, those from Bihar would carry boxes of  home-cooked bhujiya to eat with pooris. The oil and the absence of onions, garlic and tomatoes helps bhujiya stay good for long.

Aloo Methi Bhujiya

You Need:

[Serves 2-3]

  • Potatoes – 3 medium
  • Fresh fenugreek leaves – 250 grams bunch (~2 packed cups of leaves)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Green chilies – 1 or 2
  • Asafoetida powder – 1/3 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon

Methi Aloo Ingredients

How To Make Aloo Methi:

1. Wash, peel, chop the veggies

Peel the potatoes. Keep the peeled potatoes in water to prevent discoloration.

Chop the potatoes into small cubes. Put the cubes back again in water till you want to use them.

Potato Cubes

Chop the green chilies.

Pluck the leaves of the fenugreek, discard the stems.

Wash well: in India, greens are sold with muddy roots intact and it takes a bit of effort to clean them thoroughly.

How to wash fenugreek leaves: dunk the leaves in a pot of water, swish around. Fish out the leaves carefully as they float to the top. A muddy sediment would settle to the base of the pot. Discard the sediment. Rinse and repeat, till all the muddiness has been washed off.

After washing, spread the fenugreek on absorbent cloth or paper to dry for a few minutes. Chop finely.

Chopped Fenugreek Leaves

2. Cook aloo methi

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a thick-bottomed pan.

When the oil is hot, add to it cumin seeds and asafoetida powder.

Chaunk in Mustard Oil

When the cumin seeds crackle, add chopped green chilies. Follow immediately with chopped potatoes.

Turn the potato cubes around to coat them with the oil.

Aloo in Hot Oil, Cooking

Cook covered, on medium heat, till the potatoes start browning. Stir once in between. This should take 7-8 minutes.

Potato Cubes, Golden Brown

Add chopped fenugreek leaves to the pan, along with salt.

Aloo and Methi Leaves

Mix well.

This point onwards, cook aloo methi uncovered on low heat. Fenugreek leaves would give off water as they wilt. Keep stirring every 3-4 minutes to allow even cooking.

After adding fenugreek leaves, the cooking process could take 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pan and the heat setting.  Cook till the fenugreek leaves are cooked through, the potatoes are fully done, and the bhujiya is dry.

Methi Aloo, Cooked

Aloo methi is ready.

Aloo Methi - Potatoes and Fenugreek Leaves

Serve with any Indian bread. Meal below: chapatis, dal and aloo methi.

Aloo Methi, Dal Roti

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