thepla and true to my telugu roots, as pappu.
They do take some preparation when the mature plants are harvested. The stems get tough and leaves need to be picked off the stems when used for cooking. For tender plants though you can use the stems & leaves in the recipe. Fenugreek is really easy to grow at home, just soak the seeds in water for a few hours, allow them to drain and rest in a moist cheese cloth/tissue for 10-12hrs. You will see tiny sprouts begin to pop out, scatter them on loose soil and within a week you will see green stems peeking out. The plants in the photograph are < 3 weeks old. I am waiting to see how high they go before harvesting them. Not making any promises though :)
Menthi kura Pappu/Methi dalIngredients:
- 1 cup - Toor dal, washed & drained
- 1 cup, packed - Fenugreek leaves, washed
- 1/2 cup - Onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup - Tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 nos - Green chillies (adjust to taste)
- a pinch of turmeric
- 1 Tbsp - thick Tamarind pulp extract or 1/2 tsp store bought paste
- 1/2 Tbsp - Oil
- Salt to taste
- Popu/flavor oil - 1 tsp ghee/oil, 1/2 tsp cumin & mustard seeds, a few curry leaves, 1 dried red chilli, sliced garlic or pinch of asafoetida/ inguva
- Pressure cook the toor dal with pinch of hing. In another pan, heat the oil and saute sliced onions and green chillies. When the onions soften and turn translucent add chopped tomatoes, turmeric and cook until they turn mushy.
- The washed, drained fenugreek leaves go in next, roughly chop them before adding if needed. Add a little salt and continue to cook until the leaves wilt and lose their rawness, ~ 6-8 mins.
- The dal should be done by now, once the pressure is released add the methi leaves mixture to the dal along with tamarind pulp and cook for another 10-15mins on low simmer. Taste test for salt and add more water if needed to get to a consistency that you like.
- Right before serving, add the popu by toasting the ingredients lightly in ghee and top it over the dal. Serve with hot rice or chapati.
You can cook all the ingredients together in the pressure cooker or, once the methi leaves are wilted in step 2 add the uncooked toor dal to the whole mixture, add required amount of water and continue cooking until done. Use a method thats convenient to you, each might have a very slight variation in taste.