Samudri Methi Chi Bhaji (Fenugreek Microgreens Sabzi in Maharashtrian Style)
Since I am a true blue Mumbai chi Mulgi (aka Mumbai girl), it is no secret that I love Maharashtrian food. The best part about living in a cosmopolitan city or the city of migrants, like Mumbai, is that you get to experience a variety of dishes, different vegetables to shop, fantastic local produce including millets etc. And, since I love cooking seasonal variety at home, I don’t miss on eating Samudri Methi Chi Bhaji i.e. Fenugreek or Methi Microgreens especially during winters in Mumbai.
If you look at the current fad at all popular restaurants, and by popular, I mean the ones who charge you a bomb for such small portion of food that are often decorated with microgreens of different varieties, apparently which are really good for health.
Well, Maharashtra has been growing these and eating them since a really long time and especially during winters, the produce is much better as it’s the season for fresh methi leaves.
I have travelled to quite few places in India but as far as I can remember, I have not really seen these varieties anywhere except in Mumbai or Maharashtra to be precise. These Microgreens grow near the sandy shores of Mumbai and are usually the produce derived from methi seeds that are germinated. After 5-7 days of germination, the first tiny greens that appear are plucked and used as Microgreens. The ones kept further to mature, grow into the beautiful methi leaves that we include in our vegetables and theplas or flatbreads.
These microgreens are sold in your regular vegetable market in small bunches tied neatly. A small bunch costs Rs. 2/- and it usually takes around 20 of them to fulfil the requirements of a sabzi for atleast 2-3 people. The methi, since they grow near the sandy shores, are very muddy or sometimes covered with sand, so it needs to be washed really well. Also we need to use only the first 3-4 inches of the microgreens and simply discard the roots etc. These microgreens last only for a day, max as the tails or the roots begin to rot really soon even under refrigeration. I usually buy them and prepare it straightaway after reaching home.
Tastewise and compared to Methi leaves, they are not that bitter in taste. Also, when combined with masalas and coconut, you actually forget it is methi! Cooks in about 10 minutes if all the ingredients are available in hand.
Note – If you have gone through the gardening section on my blog, you can see the microgreens that I had grown at home (small pot garden). Ofcourse, they are soil based. Attaching an image below for your reference (How they look?)
If you have seen my earlier blog posts on variety of dishes that include methi, you would be also knowing the hefty amount of health benefits that they offer. Do check out these recipes that you may like viz. Beetroot and Methi Rice, Methi Theplas or Pumpkin and Fenugreek (methi) seeds sabzi.
Read the recipe below and if you live in Mumbai city, just like me, I bet you would grab few bunches of these microgreens and make the dish straightway!!
Recipe for Samudri Methi Chi Bhaji
Prep Time – 15 to 20 mins (mostly to clean the methi leaves)
Cook time – 10 mins
Serves – 2 to 3 nos.
- Samudri Methi or Fenugreek Microgreens – 20 bunches
- Onions – 2 nos. medium sliced
- Garlic – 2 pods finely chopped
- Freshly grated coconut – 5 tblsps
- Oil – 1 tblsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Jeera or cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Wash the microgreens or samudri methi under running water atleast 5-6 times to get rid of the sand, mud particles etc.
- We only need the first 3-4 inches of the microgreens and the rest needs to be discarded. Do not chop them as they will reduce in volume once steamed.
- Now steam these microgreens for just 5 minutes or so and keep aside.
- Finely chop the garlic and slice the onions.
- In a kadhai or heavy bottom pan, heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and once it crackles, add the cumin seeds or jeera.
- Add the garlic and the sliced onions and saute them until the onions turn a bit transluscent.
- Add the steamed methi microgreens into this mixture along with the required quantity of salt. Mix the ingredients well, so that the salt coats the vegetable. You will notice, the methi leaving out some water too at this stage, hence, do not cook this vegetable with a closed lid. Allow the steam to evaporate and cook it in an open kadhai or you will end up with soggy / overcooked vegetable.
- Once the vegetable is cooked and the onions also caramelize, add the freshly grated coconut. Stir everything once again and then switch off the flame.
- Serve it hot with some Varan Bhaat or Dal Rice or Bhaakri made with either Jowar Flour or Bajra flour.
- I have used sesame oil for cooking. You may use peanut / groundnut or any vegetable oil if you like except olive oil.
- I have not added any masalas as the flavor of the methi should really stand out.
- Excellent for diabetics as part of their diet as methi is supposedly good to maintain blood sugar levels.
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