Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stir Fried Fenugreek Leaves with Potatoes or Aubergine (Methi Shaak Baygoon /Aaloo Bhaja)

My last few posts were vegetarian dishes and I was debating whether I should now move on to some non-vegetarian dishes or continue with the vegetarian recipes. Well the latter won hands down, after all leafy vegetables are still available in the market and since mum is busy cooking all the Bengali vegetarian dishes, I felt I should not let go of this opportunity to introduce you to some Bengali vegetarian -‘starters’. I call them starters for these, that is the Stir Fried Radish Leaves and Stir fried Fenugreek Leaves, are served as the first course, usually for lunch.

Methi Shaak Baygoon Bhaja or Methi Shaak Aaloo Bhaja means Fried (Bhaja) Fenugreek leaves (Methi Shaak) with Brinjal /Aubergine/Eggplant (Baygoon) or Potatoes (Aaloo). Since it is not deep fried but fried in very little oil, I prefer to describe it as stir fried. This is usually eaten with plain rice that is plain steamed rice; however it also goes very well with phulka rotis. Phulka rotis are the round shaped flat unleavened Indian bread which are first roasted on a skillet and then puffed up on an open flame. Like a true Bengali I like to have it with steamed rice. As is obvious from the name of the dish you can either make it with potatoes or aubergines.

  • One bunch fenugreek leaves.
  • 3 potatoes or 250 grams aubergine.
  • One  tablespoon of oil.
  • Salt to taste.
  • A few green chillies for garnishing.

  • Wash the leaves; take care to use only the leaves and not the stem.
  • Chop the leaves.
  • Boil the leaves; take care to use little water for boiling the leaves or else you will be saddled with excess water.
  • While the leaves are boiling, wash the potatoes well. Chop the potatoes into small pieces (as shown in photo), as most of the nutrition lies in the skin, you need not peel the potatoes; leaving the skin on the potato makes it more nutritious. In case you are using aubergine, then chop it into small pieces similar to the size of the potato pieces.
  • Heat a table spoon of oil in a wok or kadhai and sauté the potatoes.
  • After you have sautéed the potatoes, add the boiled leaves along with the water in which it was boiled and stir well. Lower flame and cover the vessel.
  • After a little while add salt to taste and in case you wish, you may add a bit of red chilli powder; here I would like to add that my mother only uses green chillies and does not use red chilli powder for this dish.
  • Keep stirring intermittently till the potatoes soften and all the water evaporates.
  • If you find that the potatoes haven’t softened, but the water has evaporated then add a bit of water to soften the potatoes.
  • Garnish with green chillies and serve hot.
  • In case of aubergines the process is slightly different. First fry the aubergine pieces and keep aside. Then add the boiled fenugreek leaves to the oil in which you have fried the aubergine. Stir fry the leaves.  Then add the fried aubergine pieces to the leaves, add salt to taste; you may add a little bit of water at this stage so that the salt mixes well with the leaves and aubergine pieces. Stir till all the water evaporates and serve hot after you have garnished it with some green chillies.

Please note the measurements I have given here are in accordance with the size of the bunch of leaves available here in Bombay, India. You have to adjust your measurement in accordance to the quantity of the fenugreek leaves but take care to see that the quantity of fenugreek leaves is more than the potatoes or aubergine.

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  1. Classic combination,looks mouthwatering and very healthy.

  2. Methi adds so much flavor to everything and takes it to a whole new level..loved the stir fry, perfect with some parathas :)

    US Masala

  3. I am very fond of Methi Baigun... though I make it a bit differently. After frying the aubergine, I add a paste of ginger and mustard seeds, fry that a bit, then add the methi and some chopped tomatoes, along with a little red chilli powder, salt and sugar.

    P.S. Have bought mooli leaves and am going to try out your recipe this week!

  4. @dustedoff: Your version too sounds yum, but now I am eager to see how the mooli leaves turn out.

  5. Shilpi, I made the moolor shaak last night, and it was a big hit! Thank you. :-) I'm wishing it was easier to get those baby moolis in Delhi - here we get huge moolis and fewer leaves, so I've ended up with lots of moolis after I've used up the leaves.

  6. I love love methi.Never tried with eggplant but love methi aloo.I see that u havent used any tempering like hing or red chillies or garlic for your dish..very different version than what I usually make

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. There is an award for you, in my blog, for your great recepies.Please do collect it.Keep up your great work.Thanks


    (Duplicate comment deleted.)

  9. @dustedoff:My mum is very pleased it turned out to be a hit. You may have finished with your moolies but for the future my next recipe will be a mooli special.

  10. Shilpi, I can hardly wait - I still have four huge moolies left, and I think my husband is getting a bit sick of having mooli salad for dinner every night! ;-)

  11. @dustedoff:Will try to speed up but couldn't help laughing at your poor husband's plight.

  12. looks healthy and delicious one..


    Event going in my blog be a part of the event by participating in..

    thank you

  13. Just click on the award,It opens up in a page.Copy that URL and using this URL address insert picture into your blog.Let me know if you need help to insert the picture.

  14. Dear Shilpi
    How are you? I feel good reading your comments at my Sundarban blog. I like methi alu now I will try with begun, sounds great..
    I missed quite a few of your postings...Kachkala BaDa and mulo sag bhaja are my favorite but havent eaten in recent past. Must make it soon.
    The posting on "Foreign influence on culture....." is simply great! I liked it.
    Bhalo theko

  15. Love your cooking style, way much healthier and it looks yummy too..

  16. Very healthy and delicious!Do drop by
    when u find time

  17. santiniketan e thakte ebhabei methi shaak ranna hoto. takhon alu methi sabzi'r katha jantam na. tabe methi shaak ebhabe ranna korle je gandhota thake seta alu methi te ase na. simple but very very flavourful.

  18. @ Shilpi:Please collect your new award from my blog :).
    Sorry for late reply.My son(8 months) wants the laptop whenever I sit in front of that:).

    The steps are:
    1.Click on the award.It opens up in a window.Copy that URL.
    2.Go to New post in your blog.In that click images link.Three options wud be there.In that click select from URL.Paste the copied URL address there and click on add selected.So its done.

    Please feel free to ask any doubts regarding this.Infact I too was helped initially by Kurinji

    Do collect ur second award also...

  19. I love anything with methi leaves, the flavor is mouthwatering! This recipe is simple and delicious!