I must warn you before giving you this recipe – methi chutney (that is, chutney made of fenugreek leaves) is not for everybody. It is bitter, it is fiery hot. If you are like me, you will love it. If you are not, I warned you didn’t I :)
Like a Bollywood potpourri with every conceivable emotion packed into one offering, methi chutney boasts of an array of tastes – not only is it bitter and hot, it is also sour and sweet!
On to the how-to.
- Fresh methi (fenugreek) – 1 bunch, that would give a tight cupful of leaves
- Dry red chilies – 5 to 8, depending on how much heat you can take.
- Tamarind – 1 lemon-sized ball
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Jaggery – 1 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 1 teaspoon
Soak the tamarind in a tablespoon of water for 20 minutes. Extract the pulp.
Pluck and wash the methi leaves, chop them coarsely.
Heat a few drops of oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to splutter, slide in the dry red chilies. Take it all out of the pan when the chilies turn crisp.
In the same pan, heat another few drops of oil and cook the methi leaves on medium flame. Methi leaves will give off water. Stir occasionally and cook for 6-8 minutes till the leaves wilt and become dry.
Allow all the ingredients to cool to room temperature. Do not grind them before they have cooled down, the chutney won’t taste as good!
Chutney ingredients: cooked methi leaves, tamarind, cumin seeds and dry red chilies
Put the methi leaves, cumin seeds and dry red chilies along with tamarind pulp, salt and jaggery in a grinder. Grind to a thick paste.
Methi chutney can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
I prefer to have this hot chutney when the other dishes on the plate have milder flavors. Serve it rotis, dal, plain bharta and curd at lunchtime, or with idlis for breakfast.