Yesterday afternoon was clear and brisk. Ideal weather for slipping the iPod into the top pocket and donning the thickly knitted Moroccan skullcap hat that keeps The VegHead’s VegHead warm. Fortified by an earful of Michael Franti it is a ten mile or so cycle to the Indian grocery store. Driving to a place is travel, cycling is immersion. It also allows The VegHead to indulge in a wider range of food shopping choices while keeping the emissions down (notwithstanding the potential food miles of the purchased produce).
Methi leaves are one of those staples of Indian cooking that you would go to your grave ignorant of if you draw your view of the foodstuffs of the world from the shelves of the average big-chain supermarket. They are the leaves of the Fenugreek plant, the same plant that gives us the dried fenugreek spice (which is the ground, dried seeds). If you’ve ever been served a dish in an Indian restaurant that has spinach leaves in it, it probably is really meant to have methi leaves in it instead. Spinach is the Westernised version.
This Methi Potato dish has been adapted by SheWhoMustBeFed from a Shaak Potato recipe, which came into our kitchen from dour, plain, paperback sized Indian recipe book called “The Vegetarian Curry”.
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into thick “chip” shapes
- 1 cup of methi leaves
- 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder (or if available, about 4cms of grated fresh turmeric root)
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of palm sugar
- vegetable oil for frying
- handful of chopped coriander leaves to garnish
- In a large pan (The VegHead uses the trusty wok) lightly saute the mustard and cumin seeds until they pop
- Add everything else save the methi and fresh coriander. Add extra oil if needed. Fry until the potatoes are cooked, stirring to ensure even cooking and coating with the spice mix
- Just before serving, add the methi leaves and stir through
- On serving; garnish with the coriander leaves