Cooking with fenugreek leaves-dried or fresh is very popular in India.Infact the typical taste of butter chicken or tandoori chicken is incomplete without dried fenugreek leaves[kasuri methi].Fenugreek seeds are used for tempering lot of dry and wet curries for a typical flavor.Fresh fenugreek leaves are clover shaped and taste slightly bitter [if fully mature].They add a great typical piquant, bitter flavor to curries. You will easily find frozen or fresh fenugreek [methi] leaves in any of the indian store.If looking for a substitute, chopped fresh watercress or celery leaves come close because they also have a biting taste.
Recipe adapted from cookbook, “50 great curries of India”
Ingredients: [Serves 3-4]
- 14 oz uncooked large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder [adjust to taste]
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 ” fresh ginger shoot, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp oil [sesame/olive or any flavored oil]
- 2 green chillies [finely chopped]
- 1 cup chopped scallions,white and green scallion parts,separated
- 1/4 cup fresh fenugreek leaves,finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped [or parsely]
- salt to taste
- Marinate the cleaned, uncooked shrimp in 1/2 tsp turmeric,1 tbsp fresh lime juice,1 tsp red chilli powder and 1/4 tsp salt for about 15 minutes, refrigerated.
- Meanwhile,take a wide-mouthed cooking pan/wok/kadhai and put it on low heat.Add the oil along with garlic to the wok and let the oil heat up slowly.The idea is to flavor the oil with garlic.About 3 minutes.
- Once garlic is crisp,turn up the heat to high and add the white chopped scallions.Saute for about 1 minute and add the chopped ginger and green chillies.
- Next, add the chopped fenugreek leaves , green scallions along with rest of the turmeric and chilli powder.Saute on high heat for about 2 minutes till leaves start to wilt.
- Just when about to serve: Add the marinated shrimps [along with the marinade],and cilantro leaves, toss on high heat for about 4 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked.Take care not to over cook the shrimp.Check the salt in the dish at this point and adjust.
- Squirt some fresh lime juice and serve warm with steamed white rice.
- Adjust the quantity of fenugreek leaves depending on how bitter they are.
- To reduce the bitterness of fenugreek leaves, rub whole leaves with little salt and let salt for half n hour, wash the salt away, bitterness will reduce.
- Another tip which my mom told me was that fenugreek leaves if cooked and left uncovered for 1-2 hours.
- The cooking time will vary depending upon the size of shrimps that you use.I used large shrimps.