Methi dal. ( A tasty healthy lentil gravy simmered with goodness ofIndian spices and fenugreek leaves )

Methi dal or dal prepared with chopped fenugreek leaves and spices is one of the most healthiest side dishes o have with rice or rotis.

The medicinal values of fenugreek cannot be over emphasized. Instead of just adding mashed dal to spices , adding a tasty blend  of chopped tomatoes to fresh green chopped fenugreek leaves lifts it  up several notches higher . 

The full nutritional value  of fenugreek is enhanced when combined with tomatoes which helps in full absorption of iron.

Therefore it is always a good idea to toss in some chopped tomatoes  when cooking with fenugreek leaves .

Now to the recipe :

 Methi  dal – A tasty healthy dal simmered and spiced with fenugreek leaves.


1 cup toor dal / arhar dal/pigeon pea lentils or a mix of both moong dal and toor dal, your choice. I used both. 

3 cups water to  pressure cooking the lentils

pinch of turmeric powder

Other ingredients 

2 garlic cloves ( optional ) 
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, finely copped or slit 
2 red whole chillis
1 1/2 cups methi leaves/fenugreek leaves  rinsed and chopped and tightly packed 
2 small finely chopped tomatoes .
pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder 

For tempering

2 tbsp oil 

2 cups water
salt to taste 


In a pressure cooker cook the dals with turmeric and water till the lentils are softened .
mash the the dals well.
add 2 cups of water.
Mix well and stir.

Heat oil in a frying pan .
Add  the cumin seeds and fry till they crackle.
Add the garlic and green chillis  and sauté for few seconds.

Add the dry red chillis and add the pinch of asafoetida.

Next add the kashmiri chilli powder . Add the finely chopped tomatoes and let it  cook a bit . Add  methi leaves . Sauté till oil leaves the sides and the methi leaves would have shrink and wilted a bit.

The methi leaves and tomatoes would have cooked well and blended together. 

To this sautéed mixture add the dal water mixture and let it simmer for few minutes .
Add salt. 
Tasty methi dal is ready to be served with rice or rotis. 

Health facts of fenugreek

Benefits of fenugreek or methi are hardly known when we consider it as a herb instead of a spice. In the Eastern cultures, especially India, fenugreek leaves are more widely used as compared to seeds primarily due to its immense nutritional benefits. 

While the seeds of this plant are used for only for the flavour, the leaves have herb nutrition value in them. So, when we talk about the benefits of fenugreek we are particularly referring to its greener parts. Here are a few good health tips related to fenugreek. Nutritional Benefits Of Fenugreek: Fenugreek leaves are basically a kind of green leafy vegetables unless you dry them for storage (kasuri methi). 

So they will give you all the goodness associated with green vegetables. The fresh leaves of the Methi plant have a slightly bitter under taste and can be cooked just like we cook spinach. It is a very good source of iron. That is why fenugreek, both its seeds and leaves are considered medicinal for curing anemia. In fact, even if you follow standard medicine, patients with low hemoglobin count are usually put on a diet of fenugreek and other vegetables like spinach and lettuce.

 Fenugreek has herb nutrition in it. If you crush the fresh leaves of Fenugreek or make a glass of juice out of them, it could be the perfect health drink to control the hormonal level of insulin in the blood. Fenugreek is a kind of similar to bitter gourd when we consider the bitter taste and properties of regulating insulin. It is a must note point for diabetics. Fenugreek could give competition to Spinach as a rich source of vitamin K. 

Commonly spinach is the traditional answer to all your vitamin K needs but fenugreek has almost as much or more of this vital nutrient. It is a very good source of roughage because is basically comprised of leaves. It will fulfill your body's fibre requirements abundantly. 

Traditionally methi or fenugreek is supposed to be very beneficial to people who have a persistent problem of constipation. This is because they supply the missing 'bulk' to your faeces and thus make bowel movements smooth. 

Surprisingly, fenugreek is also a great source of protein and nicotinic acid. These nutrients lend benefits of fenugreek that are specific to hair. It foster hair growth and is good for the general health and shine of hair. 

Inspite of so many benefits people sometimes don't prefer to eat fenugreek because of its bitterness, especially in the dried form when the concentration of the bitterness increases. The solution is to either eat it fresh or add the dried leaves to foods like dals, curries or mix it or knead the flour to make tasty methi parathas!