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Vendhaya Keerai Masiyal (fenugreek leaves-lentil mash) (methi-dal in hindi)

September 27, 2012

This is one of my tastiest dishes and most cooling and nutritious dish i must say.   Most healing one too.   Because if anyone has stomach ache or cramps due to body heat, we normally gulp a spoon of fenugreek seeds here with water that instantly reduces the body heat.   Fenugreek leaves with lentils (methi-dal in hindi and vendhaya keerai masiyal in tamil) is a yummy way to keep cool always!

Ingredients:   6-8 small bunches of cut Methi leaves (small size) (see picture)  (we can also sow the fenugreek seeds in a pot and water it daily and keep in the sun.   In days we will have small sprouts of methi leaves at home that also can be made use of.  i normally buy off store shelves or from a street spinach seller).

1/2 a measuring cup of tuar dal (lentils)

1 mid size onion

1 mid size tomato

1 green chili

4-5 garlic cloves

For garnishing:   1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 dried red chili torn and de-seeded

a tsp of oil for sauteing.

a pinch of turmeric powder

salt to taste



Wash and immerse 1/2 a cup tuar dal (lentils) in adequate water in a small pressure cooker.   Chop the onion and tomato and add it to the tuar dal.   Add the garlic flakes and the green chili.  Sprinkle 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

Cut the small bunches of fenugreek leaves (methi leaves) in a fine manner leaving out the soft stalks and taking out the leaves alone (with a bit of stalk otherwise).   Methi leaves or fenugreek leaves carry lots of soil dust which need thorough rinsing.   Rinse in 2 large bowls alternately and cleanse by hands atleast 4-5 times draining the soil-water everytime.   Repeat the process for more number of times until you are satisfied that the leaves are maximum free of soil particles.  (refer to the pictures)

Now add the washed fenugreek leaves to the dal and onion-tomato in the pressure cooker.    Give 4-6 whistles to ensure that the dal and the leaves are cooked smooth.   Wait for pressure release and open the cooker lid after ensuring its safe to open.

Take the cooked contents out.   Pour the same into an earthen pot.  Mash with a wooden masher to a fine thick consistency.

Transfer the mashed fenugreek leaves-lentil (methi-dal) (vendhaya keerai) into a bowl.

Garnishing:   Heat a tsp of oil in a shallow pan.   Add 1/2 tsps of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and a torn and de-seeded dried red chili.  When the seeds splutter, take out and pour this into the mashed dal.  Salt finally.

Now we have most nutritious and yummy Fenugreek leaves-lentil mash (Vendhaya Keerai masiyal in tamil and Methi-dal in hindi) to go with both rotis as subzi and with rice.


This is readily available in small bunches (baby leaf bunches) in Chennai and in most parts of south India.  In rest of India, methi leaves are available rarely as small baby bunches but like any regular greens.

Homegrowing fenugreek leaves is best option.   Sow the fenugreek seeds in a pot and water it daily keeping it in direct sun. Within a week or two, you can see small fenugreek leaves/methi leaves sprouting up.   Take care to pluck the small leaves delicately.  This is the easiest way to get small baby fenugreek leaves.

(PS:  Can also do the same dish using regular fenugreek leaves or bigger vendhaya keerai leaves/greens.  the bitter taste associated with baby fenugreek leaves is totally absent with mature vendhaya keerai leaves/regular fenugreek leaves, but that does change the taste significantly.) 


From → Vegetarian

  1. awesome …

  2. It was delicious. My mom used to cook the same method. I tried and tasted.

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