Saturday, 2 February 2013

Methi Dal...when love and love collide

Methi Dal...I love my dals and I love my greens...Methi Dal one of my favorite ways to use fresh Fenugreek could do the same with fresh Spinach leaves as well...

Methi Dal (Lentils with Fenugreek leaves)


  • Arhar dal/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea, washed & drained ,60 gm
  • Methi/ Fenugreek leaves, washed & chopped, 120 gms
  • Onions, finely chopped, 1 large
  • Tomato, finely chopped, 1 large
  • Tomato Puree, 1-2 tbsp (depending on the colour of the tomato already put in)
  • Turmeric, ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida, a big pinch
  • Ghee/Oil,1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds, ¼ tsp
  • Mustard seeds, ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves, 8-10
  • Whole Dried red chili, 1
  • Green , Chilies, finely chopped, 2
  • Coriander powder, ½ tsp
  • Garlic, crushed, 4-5 cloves
  • Ginger, paste, ½ tsp
  • Kokum Extract, 1 – 2 tbsp (refer to notes)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, about double the quantity of dal and more if needed


Wash the dal till water runs clear. Soak in fresh water for 20-30 minutes.Drain the dal well.

Pressure cook or boil the dal in a pan of fresh water with a pinch of salt, ¼  tsp turmeric, tomato and half of the chopped onion till dal is half cooked (one whistle on high in pressure cooker)

In another pan, heat the oil. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, one by one, add the  dried chili, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, green chilies and the rest of the chopped onion. 

Sauté till onion soften and turn translucent. 

Add methi leaves, a little salt, ¼ tsp turmeric and continue to cook until the leaves completely wilt. 

Add the tomato puree and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Switch off the heat.

Add the methi leaves mixture to the dal  and let it cook covered on low simmer for 10-12 minutes. 

Add more water if required, to get the consistency you like. 

Add the kokum extract and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  

Serve hot with rice.


  • I have started adding Kokum extract to my dals lately to finish off a packet lying around.You can use tamarind extract, some store bought tamarind paste, a squeeze of lemon or completely skip this as well. 

  • I at times skip the mustard seeds,curry leaves and kokum/tamarind/lemon and do a regular Dal Tadka with the rest of the stuff.

  • If you do want to use kokum or tamarind, just wash and soak some kokum/tamarind in hot water for about half an hour in a non reactive bowl. Mash it well with your hands or back of a spoon to separate the pulp.Pour the mashed mixture and its liquid into a strainer placed over an empty bowl. Firmly press down on the pulp to extract maximum juice. Discard what is left in the strainer and use the strained liquid.

  • And here is a picture of the Arhar dal taken from the net, in case (like me not too long back) you can't identify dals by their names...remember that it is the thin flat one, the fatter one is Chana dal

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