Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fenugreek leaf recipes 10

Click the image on the left to see the cookbook. This cookbook lists 10 simple recipes using fenugreek leaves. For pictures / detailed recipes, check out my fellow bloggers below:

1.: Methi raita 

2.: Methi Chutney  

3.: Menthya Tambli     ( Udupi)

4.: Vendaiya Keerai Poriyal   ( Tamil)

5.: Methi Saag   

6.: Venthiya Keerai Kootu    (Tamil)

7.:  Methi Dal  

8.:. Methi rice  

9.:  Methi thepla   ( Gujrati)

10.: Methi Poori

 Fenugreek: Latin for "Greek hay" was originally cultivated as a fodder for cattle. It is used both as a herb (fresh / dried leaves) and as a spice (seeds). Fenugreek belongs to the legume family (Fabaceae - the family covering lentils, peas and beans).

India (particularly Rajasthan) is the largest producer of fenugreek in the world.  In most Indian languages, fenugreek is known by the same name ' Methi" / (Menthi : Sanskrit) (  Venthiyam : Tamil). 

Culinary Uses of fenugeek leaves : Fresh leaves are used across India like any other edible green. They are cooked into a huge array of curries. Dried leaves ( Kasuri Methi) are especially flavourful and a few pinches can be added to almost any north Indian curry, turning them into methi curries. 

Medicinal Uses: Fenugreek is one of the world's oldest medicinal herbs.   Cooked leaves are rich in iron and help prevent anemia. A paste of leaves can be used as  tan external ointment to treat swelling, pain or burns. The paste is also used as a hair vitalizer, when rubbed into the scalp before taking a bath. The same paste can be used as a face pack and is believed to revitalize skin, keeping it fresh and young. 

Buying Fenugreek leaves :
1. Choose fresh looking leaves without discolouration, holes etc. Avoid wilted leaves.
2. Early morning / late evening are usually the best time to buy them in India as the fresh leaves get delivered to cities twice a day.
3. Wash leaves well to remove dirt and soil sticking to them. Add them  to a colander and wash them under running water.

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Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

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