Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Methi (Fenugreek) Dal

Pulses and legumes are a natural source of plant protein that are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, and extremely low in fat. They are used extensively in Indian cooking and form an important part of a vegetarian diet. Dried legumes and pulses are classified into three groups: beans, peas and lentils. They are eaten either whole or unhulled (with the skin still intact) or split in half with or without their skins.

Toor dal also known as arhar dal or split pigeon peas is one such pulse that is a pantry staple in most Indian kitchens. It is commonly used as the base for many of our South Indian preparations, the most common one in my home being Sambar.

My pantry is well stocked with a variety of dals but toor dal is the most-used one for sure. Dal is cooked in different ways in different homes and no two dal preparations from different kitchens or even the same kitchen for that matter, taste the same.

Here’s a very simple and tasty dal from my kitchen made using toor dal and fenugreek (methi) leaves. There are a number of versions of methi dal in the blogosphere. And now here’s mine!

1 cup toor dal/split pigeon peas/arhar dal
2 cubes frozen fenugreek/methi
½ red onion, chopped
1 tomato, cubed
½ tsp ginger paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder

For the seasoning:
1 Tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp white lentils/urad dal
A pinch of asafoetida/hing
Salt to taste.

Rinse the toor dal a couple of times and then cook it in about 3 cups of water after adding turmeric powder.

In a pan, heat the oil. Add all the ingredients for the seasoning.

To this add the chopped onions, sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the ginger paste & mix well.

Add the cubed tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Add the cubes of frozen methi leaves to the pan (no need for prior thawing, the heat will do the job) and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add ½ tsp of chilli powder to this and mix well.

When the dal is cooked, add it to the pan & bring the contents to a boil. (At this point you could add water to thin out the dal if you so desire.) Simmer on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot with rice, pickle & pappad.

This is my entry for JFI: Toor Dal being hosted by Linda who blogs at Out Of The Garden.

I am also sending this over to
Easycrafts as my entry for her “Power” less cooking event.

55 Burps:

easycrafts said...

Nice post...thanks for sending

Suganya said...

The first pic is beautiful.

musical said...

Mmmm! smells good, looks good, its GOOD! The first picture is enough to floor anyone :). and the second one just needs to be gulped, hogged right away!

VegeYum @ A Life (Time) of Cooking said...

Oh Yum. This looks so yummy, and I love toor dal. I cant get fenugreek leaves, only dried ones. I don't think they would be the same.

Shella said...

Toor daal is my favorite & it really tastes good flavored with Methi.

Rajitha said...

that bowl of dal looks delicious...i was planning to email and ask u why there was no post on Monday morn ( u usually do it on Sunday or monday..) glad i waited...:)

Happy cook said...

Dals looks delicious.

Linda said...


Methi dal is one of my favorites and I love your version -- so easy and quick! I am going to pick up some frozen methi for these busy holiday evenings. Thanks for participating in JFI Toor Dal -- photos are great too :)

sra said...

I thought you'd gotten the post title and photo mixed up - I thought they were those vanilla sponge cookies, you know - turned out it was magnified toor dal, LOL!

Asha said...

Two for one, cool!! Dal always makes you feel at home!! Great entry Pravs:)

Shivapriya said...

Nothing could beat a bowl of dal rice and lil ghee:). That's how I like to eat.... Delicious.

bee said...

that is a droolworthy dal. will make it soon.

lakshmi said...

Love Methi Leaves - dal looks splendid

Rina said...

I love methi pappu, and that is a cool entry.

Seema said...

Nice, simple and healthy entry buddy. I love to have this kind of dal as it is...just like a soup. I like that bowl.

Seema said...

I love dhals!! Your Methi dhal looks yum yum.. can i have few rotis to go along please!!!

Laavanya said...

TBC, the dhal looks so amazing.. I love the colours.. the green specked yellow dhal in a red bowl - perfect. Have bookmarked this methi dhal to try (hopefully soon).

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Project 71. Weird name I know, but my masters are weird too. My masters apologize for such an out-of-context comment and they know how painful such spamlike comments are. But, say masters, how else are we to present something good to the world. By that they mean me :D. Kindly see what I am about. Won't take you more than 22s to read... Enjoyy!

AnuSriram said...

Nice and easy recipe... Makes a gr8 entry to two events at a time... Wonderful!

Cris said...

Oh this looks soo good! I wish we had some of these ingredients here!

Deborah said...

What a mouth-watering picture!

Seena said...

nowdays cook lots of dal dishes, especially when kids started eating it..and time saving too..thanks for the recipe , TBC.

Bharathy said...

God!!This is fantastic!..exact shot and recipe that I have in
my mind as well..;)

Menu Today said...

Great entry for JFI. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Namratha said...

Methi dal?? That's totally new to me TBC, will give it a try! One wuick question, what do u mean by the froxen methi? I have good ol' plain methi seeds...will that do?

Namratha said...

Ohh, you meant methi leaves, I overlooked it while reading the recipe...silly me! :D I have fresh methi leaves, will try it.. :)

sagari said...

methi dhal looks wonderfull its one of my favvvv

Hima said...

The picture looks tempting, I will make this in this week for sure. Thanks for sharing. I too make methi dal with almost the same ingredients but little different. I will try your version too.

Mansi Desai said...

I make this exactly the same way!! nice one TBC, because I know how it tastes:)


Kribha said...

Beautiful pics and recipe. Looks so comforting.

Eskay said...

fabulous pic!

TBC said...

EC- thank YOU :-)

Suganya- thanks.

Musical- awww , u say the sweetest things:-)

Vegeyum- thanks for stopping by:)
hmmm... I really don't know what the dried ones would taste like:(
Maybe you could use frozen ones like I did ?(if available)

Shella-yes, it does :)

Rajitha- u can still e-mail me, post or no post;-)
I am not posting as often as I would like to. Kinda tied up with work & stuff:-(

Happy cook- thanks:)

Linda- Reg participation in JFI, the pleasure is all mine:)
You picked a fab, everyday- ingredient in most Indian dishes
Do let me know if you try my version.

Sra - ha, ha. That has happened to me before and that had to be the only time FBD picked it up amazingly quickly!

Asha : thanks:-) but this is TBC's blog:(
I forgive u. ;-)

Shivapriya- The dal-rice bit sounds good. It's been ages since I had it with ghee.

Bee -Promise? ;-)

Lakshmi- thanks:-)

Rina- thank you:-)

Seema-thanks :)
That is actually a kadai and the only kadai I have that is kinda good-looking :)

Seema- ooh...I almost had a deja vu moment:-)
No rotis for u 'cos I have never made a single roti my entire life!
Is rice o.k? ;-)

Laavanya -thanks. Do let me know how you like it whenever u get around to making it:)

Project71....oooh, u have a master! how fancy;-)

Anusriram- thanks:)

Cris-awww... I don't think you'll get the ingresients any place else except the Indian store:(

Deborah- thanks:)

TBC said...

It IS simple and delicious. where have I heard that before?;-)

Bharathy- thanks:)Glad u like it.

MT-thanks! and you are welcome:)

Namratha- no methi seeds girl!
Just methi leaves, fresh or frozen:)

Sagari-thank you;)

Hima- thanks.Wouldlove to hear your version too...after all everyone's version is a little different:)

Mansi- yeah, it does taste great, doesn't it?:)


Eskay- thanks:)

Sia said...

the pics are so beautiful TBC. its not easy to make look something as simple as dal to look galmourous but u have done it:)

TBC said...

awww Sia, that is so sweet of you to say that:-)
Thank you.

Sirisha Kilambi said...

tbc........great looking dal.......Its a superhit with steamed rice :-)

and dear Please don't mind If I don't comment the next few months as I would terribly busy with my academic work......Hope u understand dear....I will be back in no time :-)

SeeC said...

This is the most-often-prepared dish in our home w/o methi leaves. Will try with fresh methi leaves next time.

Susan said...

I'm happily confused about all the dal variations, but does it matter if I use dried fenugreek leaves? I have a small box of it. How much would I need? 3 tablespoons, perhaps, as a substitute for the frozen? This looks so darned good.

Cynthia said...

I've never heard of fenugreel dal before. I must give it a try.

SMN said...

Lovely and tempting dal..


Really interesting combo...
Looks exciting!!

DEEPA said...

really tasty dal lady ....nice pics too

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

totally agree with u , tbc on the presence of dal in our pantries, the snaps luk great, as usual..

Kamini said...

Nice nice.. interesting twist on the regular dal. I have never tried it out with methi. Next time round.

Kamini said...

Also, thanks for letting me know about the JFI Toor dal event.. My entry shall be quickly sent to Linda.

aparna said...

Hi, Saw your comment on my blog. Thanks for coming by.
I happen to like methi dal, too. Actually I like methi in lots of dishes. Its a very healthy green, but perhaps not liked by too many people?

Padmaja said...


How did i miss your post? Thats one simple recipe but the picture looks absolutely fantastic!!!
I love this dal!!We call it menthi pappu

Dee & Chai said...

We love dal especially when it is cooked with some greens! your's looks delish, girl.

Namratha said...

I tried this 2 days back, was so delicious...thanks for the lovely recipe :)

TBC said...

Sirisha- thanks:)
Reg commenting, please concentrate on what is important for you right now. Blogging should just be a hobby and nothing else;-)We will all be around when u return.
Good luck!

Seec- It is so nice to see you here. Thanks for visiting some of my older posts and taking the time out to leave comments there too.

Susan- Sorry for the late reply:-(
You are not the only one who is confused! There are so many different lentils & each one has its own variation. I am still learning.
Regarding using dried fenugreek leaves, I honestly don't know 'cos I've never used them before. But I see no reason why it should not work. Just remember to add them in the initial stages of the cooking process so that there is sufficient time for the flavors to be released and absorbed in the rest of the dish. You would probably need lesser amounts of the dried leaves than you would of the fresh/frozen leaves.Try using just 1 1/2 tablespoons. If you do try it, please let me know :-)

Cynthia- Do try is so simple and tasty!

SMN, Swati, Deepa, Sona, Kamini- thank you girls:-)

Aparna-thanks for stopping by. I too like methi in a few dishes.
It does have a very strong taste and you are right-not everyone would like it.

Padmaja-you have missed so many of my posts;-)
Thanks for the compliment.

TBC said...

Dee & Chai- thanks gals:-)

Namratha- I am glad you tried it and liked it. And thanks for letting me know:-)

ServesYouRight said...

Delicious! Thank you for sharing!


Roopa said...

beautifull pictures and yummy looking dhall :)

lula lu said...

thx for this recipe. Methi dal is great, my favorite now :)

TBC said...

lula lu: welcome to my blog.:D
I'm glad you like the dal.:)

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