Methi Leaves Pulav with Curds..........
Methi leaves are available throughout India. In Mumbai it is available almost all round the year, but in abundance in winter season. Rainy season also brings in a lot of these in large bundles, but then one has to do a lot of cleaning for the same as they tend to get muddy. Choose good and fresh looking thick leaves while buying methi leaves. They should not have outgrown in size lengthwise. About 8-10 inches is fine. Otherwise they are not very tender and the fragrance is lost. Methi leaves though bitter in taste is very good for health. A lot many dishes are prepared with these tiny leaves. Methi paratha, Oondiya adding methi balls, methi vadi are some of the famous dishes in Maharashtra. Methi pulav is something done by those who like a little bitter taste. But then applying salt and then squeezing out the water, removes lot of its bitterness. Again preparing the leaves this way is left to once choice as some prefer to eat it as it is, lest the valuable properties of methi is lost. In my house too I just wash and straight away use these leaves for any and every dish and do not squeeze out the water, but then its left to you, whiever suits you.
Basmati / Jeera Rice – 3 cups.
Methi / Fenugreek leaves 2-3 cups finely chopped.
Onion : 2 medium.
Jeera – 3 tsp
Cinnamon – 2” length 4-5 pieces.
Pepper –1 tsp
Cloves – 1 tsp
Green Cardamoms – 5-6
Black Cardamoms – 4-5
Crushed Jaivitri – ¼ tsp
Star anise – 2 – 3
Bay leaves – 2-3
Salt to taste.
Ghee : ½ cup
Lemon : ½
Soak 3 cups of Jeera Rice / Basmati Rice in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Wash well and drain on a colander.
Apply a little bit of salt to the methi leaves and rub it all over and leave aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze of the water from methi leaves properly, wash and keep this aside ready. This is done to remove the bitterness from methi leaves. You can leave out this step and just wash and keep the leaves ready if liked. I personally do not follow the salt method as I strongly believe that it should be consumbed as it is for its awesome health properties. You may choose any method.
Peel and remove the skin of onions and slice them finely lengthwise. Keep this aside ready.
Keep 6 cups of water for boiling, when it starts boiling, lower the heat and keep it ready in that stage and continue with the other proceedure of pulav.
Now in a thick bottomed kadai add in the ½ cup of ghee. When hot, lower the heat and add in Jeera, Pepper, Green Cardamoms, Black Cardamoms, Crushed Jaivitri, Star anise, Bay leaves and fry for a few minutes. You can add in a few cashew nuts if desired. I have not. Now add in the onions and fry only for 2-3 minutes, till they are just translucent, do not brown them. Now add in rice and mix well. Add 6 cups of water and salt to taste and give a nice mix. Bring all to a boil, once its starts to boil, lower the heat to minimum. Cover the kadai with tight fitting lid and cook on low heat till 75% done. Remove the lid and add in washed and drained methi leaves and mix well. Cover the lid again tigthly and cook till done on low heat.
Once done open the lid and allow the hot steam to pass away. Do not stand too close, you may get burned by the hot steam. Wait for about 5 minutes and then add in freshly squeezed half lemon juice and gently mix the pulav with the help of a fork. Do not put pressure or mix vigorously lest the rice grains get mashed and the pulav may turn mushy. Now the pulav is ready to be served. Serve this pulav hot with Dal-Fry or any spicy curry. I sometimes like this with just plain curds. So go ahead and serve it with the dish of your choice.