Monday, May 22, 2017

Alu Methi Subji-- Potatoes with Fenugreek Leaves


How does an Indian meal come together? The carnivores consume a meat, a vegetable side, some lentils and Indian bread or rice. The herbivores do much of the same with the exception of meat. The common factor?? The veggies of course. The rest of the meal as well, but the crux of the matter is the veggie. I can't imagine a meal without some form of veggies. 

I make ground sausage with spices. To round out the popular meat and potatoes theme, I settle on baby Yukon gold potatoes, with fresh fenugreek leaves or methi. The former tastes buttery and the latter slightly bitter. Methi leaves are good for your body, blood and well being. No lecture here on nutrient values, just a nudge to use them frequently. They are sold in bunches at Indian grocers. Pick healthy looking leaves, discarding inedible stems. Rinse leaves under running water to remove all grit and sand, their growing medium.  Chop leaves roughly and add to dal, ground meat, fritters or veggies. I'm doing just that. I drop a bunch of finely chopped leaves to cooked potatoes. And wait for them to wilt slightly before we eat.

Serves 4

1 pound small Potatoes 
4 Garlic cloves 
2 cups Methi or Fenugreek leaves, stems discarded
1-2 green Chiles
1 tablespoon Ghee
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
6-8 Curry leaves 
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
Cilantro for garnishing 

Wash and dry potatoes. Cut then into thin slices.

Slice garlic, chile and curry leaves thinly.

Wash methi well as it is sometimes sandy and gritty. Squeeze out water and chop roughly.

Heat ghee in a nonstick skillet.

When ghee shimmers, add cumin seeds. Let them turn deep brown.

Drop garlic and curry leaves into ghee. Let garlic turn brown.

Add chopped green chile in. Saute for a few seconds.

Add potatoes and kosher salt. Stir well so potatoes are coated with ghee.

Cover skillet and cook over low heat till potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add chopped methi leaves to potatoes. Stir to mix. Cover and steam for 5 more minutes till methi leaves have wilted. The methi leaves retain their bright green color if you serve the veggies as soon as they are done. They turn a dark green if kept covered for another half hour. Their flavor remain the same.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.

The vegetable subji or side holds a distinctive taste. Buttery potatoes mixed with bitter methi  leaves accented by crisp garlic slices. The sausage kheema has an ideal companion!