Monday, May 26, 2008

Palak Methi Mudda Bhaji from Karnataka

My Parents are here!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!
Meeting them after 1 1/2 year was a treat!!! I spent the first week talking, non-stop, at all odd hours of the day/ night (like 4:00 am on the first day of their arrival) and on a volume that threatened to shatter the window panes !! Thankfully the battery ran low after the first week and now I am back to (as) normal as I can get! Their ear drums are safe and my Father sighs with relief! He confesses himself astounded at my capacity and energy to talk SO much (this is after regularly talking to them on the phone for at least 30-45 mins everyday 'to plan' their trip here).
This was also an excellent opportunity for me to pamper them a little with all the food I want to cook for them. And they in turn also wanted to do the same for me!! All in all we are having a wonderful time together!!!
My Mother had this opportunity to make one of my favorites last night, thanks to the fresh bunch of Methi/ Fenugreek I found in the Indian stores! The very sight of that fresh bunch sitting on the shelf was enough to make me pounce on it and grab it, sadly just one was available... well, something is better than ajibaat (ajibaat is a Marathi word for absolutely) nothing...
My Mother learnt this version from her Mother-in-law, who was a fantastic cook and Ma is tickled pink at the thought of having this humble recipe on the blog and wondering why I did not think of it myself.. I have made this before but it is something so routine for me... shrug... but now that I think about it, this combination is wonderful, healthy and deserves its place on the blog.

The root of this recipe is in Karnataka ( Bijapur), the simplicity and the lack of overwhelming 'masalas' is the magic of this recipe.

It goes well with chapati, bhakri and rice (heck I even eat it with whole wheat bread!)

So without further ado, here's my Ma's first presentation on my blog:

2 Bunches Palak / Spinach
1 Bunch Fresh Methi/ Fenugreek leaves
1/2 cup Cooked Moong/ Toovar (arhar) Daal
2 Heaped tbsp. Besan
Marble sized ball of Tamarind (soaked and pulp removed)
Jaggery (twice the quantity of the Tamarind)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
2 cups water

For the Tadka (tempering)
2-3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
4 cloves of Garlic, sliced
4 dry Red Chilies
1 -2 Green Chilies ( sliced lengthwise)(+ / - to taste or how hot the chili is)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
a few curry leaves (if you can get them)

Do the prep.Wash thoroughly and chop the spinach and fenugreek leaves (use only leaves if you wish to avoid the slightly bitter taste fenugreek tends to impart, otherwise a small stalk is OK. Cook the daal and mash it slightly. soak the tamarind in warm water, squeeze out the pulp and discard the solids ( you can also use ready made tamarind pulp)
Heat 1 tbs. oil in a wok / kadhai, add the chopped spinach and fenugreek, cover and let it cook.Once the greens are thoroughly cooked, mash them slightly and add the Besan, mix well to avoid lumps. Add in the cooked daal, Tamarind pulp, Jaggery and salt. Add about 2 cups of water and let the mixture cook well.
Tadka: Heat Oil, add the mustard seeds, after they pop add the sliced garlic and cook till they turn golden . Add the green and red chilli pieces. Lastly add the turmeric. Pour this over the vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly and cook for 2 mins. to incorporate the flavor of the tempering.
Serve hot with chapati, bhakri, rice.

*Points to note:

  • Usually Toovar (arhar) Daal is used, but since it is acidic in nature, Yellow Moong Daal makes an excellent substitute without compromising on the taste.
  • This vegetable is semi solid in consistency. After cooling down it becomes slightly solid so you might want to add extra water if re-heating.
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  1. this is absolutely our kind of recipe. thank you, manasi's aayi.

  2. Palak is one of my all time favorites. I can eat it anytime u give me. Nice one...

  3. We in marathi call it daal bhaji....looks awesome

  4. nice click,
    nice post and nice recipe

  5. wow..we love this. It goes well with mudde/ragi ball. Will get to see more mommy's recipes on you blog for next few days.. enjoy dear!

  6. How lucky-your ma's here,and making you delicious, wholesome food.
    Many thanks to her for the recipe:)

  7. Ha ha i know what u mean, my sis was here with for a month and the whole month was were so much talking and giggling, my hubby was remarking two days ago that he misses the sound of us chatting and giggling

  8. Hey i know when parents come down te joy is so different i am missing my parents too..lucky u..:)

    this is a new recipe for me.. will surely give it a try.

  9. That bhaji certainly sounds delicious and nutritious! I hope your parents have a wonderful stay here.

  10. You lucky girl!!
    Enjoy your time with u'r parents!! I bet you must be thrilled!!
    Bhaji looks wonderful

  11. glad you're enjoying your parents visit! it must be great to see them after such a long time! the dal looks fabulous! thanks!

  12. wow!!i absolutely love palak and methi leaves in dal..they make the dal curry 10 times tastier than the usual it:)

  13. Them em coming, Manasi.
    This is one of my favourites....good to know there is someone else who eats this w/ bread.

  14. Lovely recipe, have bookmarked it. Thank you for sharing

  15. Enjoy with ur parents... Looks very healthy and delicious this palak bhaji

  16. You must be really having a god time! Love the bhaaji! Gotta' try it soon. Especially love the red chilli garnish on top. Totally tempting! We have something similar with chana daal and palak.

  17. My MIL makes this same bhaji too, to go with chapatis. Urs looks lovely. Enjoy ur parents stay :)

  18. Wow...have a wonderful time with your aayi and baba.. The recipe is comforting, isn't it, the best part is that your aayi made it.

    hugs, trupti
    the spice who loved me

  19. Wonderful! Enjoy the parents and eat a LOT!:D

    Love the Methi bhaji, looks delcious, must be very tasty!:))

  20. mansi, tell ur aayi that she rocks :) i love anything with dal & greens and this is simply superb!!!

  21. Greens never fail to impress us with their flavor and taste. Lovely Manasi. Viji

  22. Darling you sound absolutely happy and thrilled. I am so glad that your parents are there with you. Enjoy them!

  23. wow!! also when I was young my mum was making a very similar dal... we are not indian, she found this recipe in a indian cook book.
    It´s my favorite ever!!!

    Congratulation for the baby!!!

    with love,

  24. I made this bhaji last night and me and my husband loved it! This dish goes well with rotis and rice. Excellent taste and very healthy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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