A vegetarian delicacy from Coorg, Karnataka, India that captivates you with its tantalizing flavours. So aromatic and bursting with flavour this delightful sabzi (vegetarian dish) is called Menthya Matvadi Palya in Karnataka and Paruppu Usili in Tamil Nadu. Each time you take a mouthful, you want to eat more and more and never to stop. This is a forgotten recipe which is long lost in time and not really cooked in the Indian kitchens any more. So I have included it in the section: “The lost recipes of India”.
It was my MIL who first introduced me to this dish and up till now I am still head over heels in love with it. The methi greens are cooked using a different technique to bring out all its flavour. They are first sautéed in ghee and oil till almost crispy and aromatic then cooked in a coarsely ground paste of chana dal until it is just done and is a little moist. You could add a dollop of ghee in the final stage for extra flavour and moistness. It is best enjoyed hot with steamed rice. You could prepare in advance too but steam it or heat in the microwave closed just before eating.
1 large bunch of methi greens
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs ghee
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
a few fresh curry leaves
1-2 dried red chillies
Ground Lentil Paste:
1/4 cup chana lentils (bengal gram dal)
2 green chillies
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 small onion (optional)
1.Pick the methi greens, wash, drain, dry with paper towels, chop them and set aside.
2. Soak the chana lentils for at least a couple of hours. Then grind together the chana lentils with garlic, green chillies, cumin seeds, onion and salt with a tbs of water to a coarse paste.
3. Heat the oil and ghee in a non stick or thick bottomed pan. Add the dried red chillies, cumin seeds and as soon as they change colour drop in the fresh curry leaves followed by the methi greens.
4. Sauté them well till all the moisture is gone and they begin to turn crispy. You would get a tantalizing aroma at this stage.
5. It is now time to add the ground chana paste to the sautéed methi and keep stirring it continuously so that it gets mixed well and there are no lumps.
6. Turn down the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes. That is all. The methi lentil melange is now ready to eat. As a finishing touch drizzle some ghee on top and serve hot.
7. Enjoy with hot steamed rice.
1. The chana dal paste should be coarse and not too runny.
2. The methi greens should be sautéed well till they release an aroma for better flavour.
3. This dish is at its best when enjoyed immediately.
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