Friday, October 15, 2010

Methi (Fenugreek) leaves Chutney - Vendaya keerai chutney

Methi leaves - What goes on in your mind when you see some fresh leaves in the store? Usually methi parathas or methi dal is what is dancing in my head. To tell you the truth methi leaves is almost a foreign product for me. I have only seen and tasted them after coming here to the US and assuming it was some sort of 'North Indian' green. Don't jump to conclusions regarding my 'green' credentials. I was familiar with amaranth leaves (thandu keerai), nightshade leaves (manathakkali keerai) the two most popular ones and several others like agathi keerai (SESBANIA GRANDIFLORA), murungai keerai (drumstick leaves) but methi leaves, nope never heard of them or tasted them.

So the last time we were my maternal grandmother's village I saw a bunch of methi leaves and was very curious to find out what my grandma was going to whip up. Nope it was not methi paratha :) We helped pluck the leaves from the stem and during lunch some really delicious chutney was served. Expecting to taste bitterness we were surprised with just a hint of bitterness which heightened the taste. Now it is one of my favorite ways to cook methi. Substitute any green for the recipe if you do not have methi leaves handy.

The measurements are approximate and just guideliness, using less of one ingredient or another is OK.

Methi leaves chutney - Vendaya keerai chutney
1. 1 cup (more or less) of methi leaves loosely packed(remove the leaves from the stems) and washed thoroughly
2. 1/2 tbsp of urad dal + 1/2 tbsp of channa dal
3. 2 tbsp of grated coconut (increase the onion and urad dal if you want skip coconut)
4. 1/4 cup of red onion or shallots or small onions
5. a small piece of tamarind
6. 3-4 red chilies
7. few coriander and cumin seeds (optional)
8. salt to taste
9. 1 tsp of oil

1. In a pan heat the oil add the urad dal followed by the coriander, cumin and red chilies and saute till the dal turns color, set aside
2. Add the onions and saute till they start to turn brown
3. Add the leaves and saute till they start to wilt
4. Towards the end add the grated coconut and salt and saute for a minute. Cool.
5. Blend adding as little water as possible (smooth or slightly coarse is upto you)

Mixed with rice and a side of some crispy vadagams(Indian style rice based chips) or potato chips


  1. This sound so lipsmacking! Thanks for sharing this innovative family recipe.

  2. Oh that's a lovely recipe for methi. Had never thought of such a chutney!! Thanks for sharing this with us Indo!

    Btw.. do you by any chance know what is the difference between Chutney and Pachhadi?

  3. How i wish we got these leaves here. Chutney looks really yumm.

  4. Growing up, methi was a common green leaf in my house... My mom ads it to almost everything she cooks, stir fries, gravies to pulaos... although I don't buy it very often due pure laziness of plucking the leaves from the stem... Although methi was so common in in my house, never tasted methi chutney before.

  5. This is almost like the thogayal we make from ridge gourd! who would have thought! Looks good

  6. Hi Indo,

    Another one of your innovative recipe. Looks really tempting most of all the suggestion that it will go well with rice and vadagam! I am hungry although I've had my dinner..chappathi & u'r cauliflower and bell pepper fry. My mom cooks a similar thovaiyal with vallarai keerai..i'm sure you mudt have heard of it.

  7. Anjali you are very welcome.

    SS, the parts where I come from Chutney is anything that needs grinding. Pachadi is what is mixed with yogurt and would be called a raita. I think in Andhra Pachadi is used synonymously with chutney and I really can't tell when it is called one way and when the other.

    HC, frozen ones perhaps?

    notyet, thanks.

    Usha, give this is a try you will be hooked.

    Miri, yes!

    Girija, I love your feedback always. I crave this chutney if I go for a few weeks without eating it.

  8. Girija of course I have heard of vallarakeerai. My paternal grandmother was an expert in using it in innovative ways. Vallarakeeri rasam was a speciality in my maternal grandparents home.

  9. such an interesting way to use methi leaves! i use it in all sorts of sabjis as a last minute addition. Amaranth leaves were a bit foreign to me so far like that.

  10. Hi,

    The vendhaya keerai chutney looks yummy...:)


  11. Wow chutney sounds very healthy and completely awesome..

  12. oh never have tried methi chutney, very interesting!

  13. Oh that deep green chutney looks so good- I must day dal methi is my default too.

  14. I made methi chutney/thovaiyal just days ago but used a different recipe (from SHarmi of neivedyam) - Must try this coconut-onion version sometime.

  15. Indo, SS, in AP pachadi can mean both a fresh-ground chutney as well as pickle. A raita will specifically be referred to as a perugu pachadi.

  16. That's interesting. Thanks, Indo and Sra! :)

  17. SS, I gave the question of chutney, pachadi some more thought after seeing Sra's comment. It reminded me of the pachadi that my grandma used to make with mangoes or tomatoes sometimes and no yogurt is mixed in. Sra is indeed absolutely correct. So here goes.

    Chutney - generally vegetables are sauted with spices and ground/blended, water is added and can be slightly thin, eaten as a side with idli or dosai.

    Thuvayal - needs grinding preferably with no addition of water, at most a sprinkle. Generally eaten with rice.

    Pachadi - cooked with vegetables like raw mango, tomato with the addition of chilies, sugar and a sour agent till they are mushy but not generally ground or blended, maybe mushed with the back of a spoon.

    Thayir(yogurt) Pachadi - this one is what is called raita, raw or sauted vegetables mixed in with yogurt.

  18. Hey Indo.. thanks for the explanations. And I'm glad you addressed Thogayal/Thuvayal also. So many tiny tiny variations we have and yet they make all the difference! Think about it.. in English all of these would be "Sauce"! :D

    Thanks again!

  19. In Tamilnadu,years ago, the methi leaves were picked in a very tender stage..just the first 4 leaves.So the bunches were tiny. Now I live in other states, and find that the methi is allowed to grow 8-9" and so we have to pick out the leaves and throw away the stalk.Maybe this is the reason that the peson who gave the recipe,thought she has nevr eaten the leaves before.

  20. Anonymous, that is good to know.
    It wasn't the person who gave me the recipe, it was me who hadn't seen the leaves.


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