Methi/ Fenugreek Chicken
After days & days of seeing endless snow, my heart did a somersault when I saw this fresh green methi/fenugreek leaves in the Fresh Market aisle.Wonder which state in the US they came from, because they looked fresh and right out of the farm, not a leaf wilted & I was sure they could not grow it here since there were layers and layers of snow piled on the ground, which would probably take a few months to melt even after the Sun comes up in Spring.
Growing up, I was very familiar with Methi/Fenugreek seeds, not so much the leaves, since both my Grand moms made their signature postpartum dish for all the new moms in the family with these seeds.As kids when we played hide & seek in our ancestral homes ,the whiff of methi /fenugreek seeds(from the thick creamy concoction that was made) would float in the air from my Grand mom’s pantry with thick wooden doors, stored in glazed stone wear jars called “Bharanis” (which were the treasures left from the Indo-China porcelain trade of yesteryears) waiting in batches to be shipped to the next new mom ( supposedly the galactagogue property of the Methi seeds increases the milk supply in lactating mothers) or as the yummy porridge floating in ghee for us, little grandchildren, so they grow big & strong ( This was the standard line both my Grand moms used to feed us with yummy treats during our summer holidays, needless to say we burnt off every bit of THAT energy at day’s end!). These Methi/Fenugreek leaves were still new to me , not really being a keen observer of greens in my growing up years, I bet I would have skipped those aisles mindlessly smile emoticon.I was first introduced to using them by a Gujrathi friend who made lovely methi parathas /flat breads with fresh green methi leaves…..ever since then I am hooked on to this magical green leaves with a distinctive sweet smell. Triumphantly , I stepped out of the Fresh market with bunches of methi leaves,dreaming up a recipe, as I plowed through the snow.
Methi/Fenugreek can be used fresh as in this recipe of Methi Chicken, or as a spice by itself or as a herb and one can be assured of a flavorful dish….needless to say, winter hunger pangs have a musical note of their own.
This simple delicious dish is thick and creamy and goes well with flatbreads or rice.The caramelized onions and the thick yogurt along with the chicken and the methi leaves complement each other in their deliciousness.This creamy dish is sure to be a winner in your kitchen.Enjoy.
Chicken thighs- 8-10 pieces ( cut into desired shape)
Methi/Fenugreek leaves- 2 bunches
Onions- 1 (large)
Tomatoes- 2 ( medium)
Yogurt/Curds- 3/4 cup (thick)
Green chillies-3-4 (cut lengthwise)
Red Chili powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste
Cinnamon sticks- 2′
Oil- 2 tbsp
1.Clean & cut chicken pieces to required size & set aside.
2.In a wok warm the oil, to this add the cloves, cardamom & cinnamon sticks, allow them to splutter then add the split green chillies along finely sliced onions & sauté them till golden brown.
3.Then add the freshly cleaned & chopped methi leaves & sauté it till the leaves shrivel( this also removes any bitterness that may persist).
4.Now add the chicken pieces along with the tomatoes & mix them all together till they are well coated.Then add the chili , turmeric, black pepper & garam masala powder to this & stir them well so all the chicken pieces are coated.Then add salt to taste.Cover with lid and allow chicken to cook in its own juices for 10 – 15 minutes.
5.When Chicken is well cooked gently add the thick yogurt to the mix and stir it well so no traces of it are seen separately.Cook for another 10 minutes till the curry thickens and the oil floats to the surface .Simmer for a few minutes before removing it from the stove.
6.Serve hot with naan, chapatis (flatbreads) or rice.