Methi malai mutter

A very delicious recipe for those who savour a soft, creamy textured gravy. Methi malai mutter – the name literally is a combination of the three main Ingredients of this recipe. literally translated to english it would read Fenugreek Cream Green-peas.

Fenugreek is one of my absolutely favourite leafy vegetables. Though all this time, I never really could find fenugreek outside India. Until the last Friday when my husband came home with a bunch (must have been like 100 gm or so).💖

So today was methi malai mutter cooking in my kitchen. And it came out very nice therefore I am penning it down.

Ingredients:

1. Fenugreek leaves – 100 gm

2. Onion – two large

3. Tomato – one large

4. Cream – 1.5 dl

5. Almonds – 10

6. Cashews – 10

7. Salt

8. Bay leaf – 1

9. Black pepper corns – 5-6

10. Green cardamom – 1

11. Cinnamon stick – 1 (approx. inch long)

12. Oil

13. Green peas – 1 bowl

14. Sugar – 1 tsp

Method:

1. Pluck the leaves of fenugreek off the hard stem. All hard stem is to be removed and thrown away. Wash thoroughly in water and keep in a bowl. Now sprinkle around 1/2 tbsp salt on the leaves. Mix a little and let the leaves stand for 15 min.

2. Slice up the onions length wise into thin slices. Take oil in a pan for frying and fry the onion pieces until almost brown. Remove from oil and keep aside.

3. Puree the tomato.

4. Soak almonds and cashews in half a bowl of hot water for 20-25 min.

5. Squeeze out all water from the fenugreek (methi) leaves. Discard the water. Chop up the leaves into small bits.

6. Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan and place on medium-high heat. Add the chopped leaves and stir fry for two minutes. Remove the leaves in a bowl and keep aside.

7. Take 3 tbsp oil in the same pan that we used for frying the leaves. Place it on medium heat. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom, black pepper corns and stir fry until you start to get a nice aroma (this will take like 1 min). Now add the tomato puree and stir fry until tomato starts to leave oil.

8. In the meantime, puree the fried onions. I added about 2 tbsp water in my grinder to help with the grinding.

9. When the tomatoes have oozed out oil, add the pureed fried onions. Mix well and stir fry for another minute.

10. Now add the fried fenugreek (methi) and green peas. Mix well. Reduce the flame and let this simmer for a minute. (I used frozen peas that were already soft). If you are using fresh peas, then par boil them before.

11. Puree the almonds cashew mix to a smooth paste.

12. Add the almonds and cashews paste to the pan where our tomato, onion, peas and fenugreek is cooking. Also add in the cream.

16. Finally add salt, sugar and a little water if you find the gravy to be too thick. A slightly thick gravy is good though.

17. Mix well. Simmer for a few minutes and methi malai mutter is good to eat.

This recipe pairs well with bread (roti, parantha, naan) or with rice.

Stuffed tomatoes (bharwa tamatar)

Stuffed tomatoes reminds me of my mother’s kitchen, and the aromatic senses that engulfed our whole house when this delicacy was ready. The first time I ever tried to make this on my own (of course under my mom’s supervision) was around 10 years back. And I clearly remember that it took me 4 hours to make this recipe from start to the end. The time it took so many years ago etched a memory in my brain and I scarcely picked up this old recipe again. Though I must admit faintly I had always wished that from some where Maa would turn up with ready stuffed tomatoes and then we can have a sumptuous meal.

Finally yesterday, the craving to eat this delicious meal just took over all my laziness, and I made it again. It took me just half the time I had thought. Yes!! thats right. I was done in 2 or may be even 1.5 hours and I loved it.

Since I got fibromyalgia, working too long and continuous hours has been tough so I was extremely pleased with the ease and seamlessness this recipe kind of cooked itself for me yesterday. Second, I have been trying to turn vegan and this is yet another feather in the hat for vegan eating. Who says vegan is boring! Try this and you will never go down any other road again.

So here is what we need.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  1. 4 large boiled and mashed potatoes
  2. 1 large onion chopped finely
  3. 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  4. Salt to taste (I used approx. 1 tsp)
  5. Red chilli powder – approx. 1/2 tsp
  6. Garam masala powder – approx. 1/3 tsp

For the tomato shells:

  1. 6 large and firm tomatoes – washed, dried and with the inside scooped out carefully (save the inside of the tomatoes for the gravy)
  2. Oil for deep frying – approx. 2 cups

For the gravy:

  1. 1-2 large onion chopped
  2. 1 tomato chopped fine
  3. inside of 6 large and firm tomatoes chopped fine
  4. Shahi jeera (Royal cumin seeds) – 1.5 tsp
  5. Saunf (Fennel seeds) – 1/4 tsp
  6. Mangrel or Kalunji seeds – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  7. Bay leaves – 3
  8. Whole black pepper – 7
  9. Cooking oil – 6 tbsp
  10. Salt to taste (I used approx. 2 tsp)
  11. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  12. Degi mrich powder – 1/3 tsp
  13. Garam masala – 2 tsp (reduce to half if you don’t want the dish very spicy)

 Method:

First start with the filling. Mash the boiled potatoes and keep aside. Take oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions. Fry until the onions are brown (but not burnt). At this stage, add the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add all the spices and mix well. Roast this mix on the frying pan slightly and then let the mixture cool down slightly.

Now lets create the tomato shells. Take 6 firm tomatoes, and wash them nicely. Then pat them dry. Now carefully chop the head like a cap, and don’t throw it off (for reference see the picture of finished dish. you will see that the head cap of the tomatoes is still on). Now take a knief and carefully scoop out the tomato inners. It will be slightly hard because we have chosen firm tomatoes, so be careful. If you don’t like to use the knief, you can use a spoon instead. Try not to cut through the shell, though slight (one or two) punctures through the wall are not a disaster. You are doing fine!

Now take the tomato shells and stuff them tightly with the filling. Cover with a cap. Now we shall fry these tomatoes. Do not leave the tomatoes in the oil. That will create a mess. So don’t do that.

  

Instead, do like this. First heat the oil in a frying wok. Take a slotted spoon (reference picture) and place a filled tomato (upside down) on the slotted spoon. Now hold this slotted spoon over the hot oil. Take a ladle in your other hand, and pour hot oil over the tomato. This will cook the tomato nicely on the outside. Keep pouring the oil until the skin comes out. Be careful and once the tomato is fried place it aside on a kitchen cloth. Do the same for all the 6 tomatoes.remove the fried skin off the tomato shells.

Finally it is gravy time. Take around 5-6 tbsp oil in a wok. when the oil is hot, add shahi zeera, saunf, bay leaves, black pepper seeds and mangrel. Then add the chopped onions and fry until the onions are golden brown. Now it is time to add the tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes look all mushy and start to leave a little oil on the sides. Then add all the spices except half of the garam masala. Mix well. Cook another 1-2 min and now transfer the tomato shells carefully into the gravy. Sprinkle the remaining garam masala on top and cover with a tight lid.

Slow cook the tomatoes on a very very low flame for approx. 20 min, and then switch off the flame. Let the tomatoes cook in the steam for another hour.

Bharwa tomatoes are ready, and can be relished with chapatis, paranthas, rice. 🙂