A combination of plantain (raw banana) with fresh fenugreek leaves brings out the best in both vegetables. Plantain has the wonderful ability to take the edge off sharp flavors, while fenugreek’s green bitterness adds some interesting notes to the simple plantain.
In Bihar, bhujiya is a dry fried vegetable side dish in a meal, typically cooked in mustard oil with not too many spices. This kela methi bhujiya lives up to tradition – it gets its flavor primarily from mustard and fenugreek, with pepper to add its zing.
- Plantain (raw banana) – 4 (500 grams)
- Fenugreek leaves – 1 bunch (~2 cups of plucked leaves)
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Fenugreek seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
How To Make Kela Methi Bhujiya:
Peel and chop plantain into 1-cm thick slices (half moons if using thick plantain).
Pluck and wash fenugreek leaves very well. Chop them roughly.
Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in a kadhai or thick-bottomed pan.
Add fenugreek seeds. When the seeds turn dark brown, add chopped plantain. Stir around the plantain slices to coat them with the oil.
Cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat, let the plaintain cook slightly.
Add salt, pepper, turmeric powder.
Mix the spices with the plaintain.
Cook for another minute on low heat.
Spread the fenugreek leaves in an even layer over the plantain. Cook covered on low heat for ten minutes.
Keeping the fenugreek unstirred lets the steam cook the leaves slowly and retains their natural flavor, while the plantain – which takes relatively longer to cook – absorbs the heat directly.
Uncover the pan after ten minutes and mix the plantain and fenugreek together. Stir gently – the plantain would have softened and might crumble if you are not careful.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or till the dish is no longer moist.
Kela methi bhujiya is ready to eat.
Kela methi bhujiya is just right for lunch box meals. No drip, no spill, stays good at room temperature for much longer than onion-based Indian curries.