Aloo methi is a simple yet delicious dry stir fry that brings together delicious potatoes with nutrient-rich fenugreek leaves. Inherently vegan, this dish has a simple ingredient list yet makes a satisfying side to any Indian meal. But don’t let the ingredient list fool you because the flavors are delicious and inviting while being mild.If you are someone new to Indian cuisines, then this is a great recipe to try out. Potatoes are pretty universally loved but add fenugreek (methi) in to the mix for some authentic ‘desi’ flavors. The recipe is pretty straightforward, and the only real effort in making this dish lies in prepping the fenugreek leaves. The few extra minutes it takes is completely worth it!
More about aloo methi
This is a northern Indian side dish that is widely served with chapati/roti(Indian flatbreads) or as a side with rice and dal/other gravy based dishes. It is a dry dish and does not contain any gravy. While potatoes serve as the base, the real flavors come from the methi or fresh fenugreek leaves.
Fenugreek – The queen of flavors
There are a lot of well known spices and herbs used in Indian cuisine but IMO fenugreek is quite underrated. Fenugreek leaves both fresh and dry along with the seeds play an important role in various cuisines within the country. Its inherently bitter but when cooked, the bitterness is removed but what’s left is the delicious flavor and fragrance it imparts. For some, this might be an acquired taste but trust me it will grow on you.
Where to find -Fresh fenugreek leaves are found pretty much in all Indian stores here in the US. Methi leaves are small, inverted tear drop shaped and is usually sold as a bunch still attached to the stalks. Make sure the leaves look fresh and green. Avoid bunches which might have soggy or yellowing leaves.
The dried leaves(kasuri methi) and fenugreek seeds can be found easily both in stores and online. To use the fresh leaves, just remove the leaves from the stalk and put in a bowl of salted water for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it well. The salt will draw out most of the bitterness.Kasuri methi should be gently crushed between your thumb and index fingers. Add to the dishes while cooking and as a topping before serving.
Replacement for methi – If you are not able to procure fresh methi or dont want to use it, substitute with any of your favorite greens. It won’t carry the same flavors as methi but will still taste great. Another option is to only use kasuri methi or dry methi leaves. This is easily available, adds a lot of the same delicious flavors without all of the prep. Instead of adding the fresh methi, add 3-4 tsp of crushed kasuri methi and mix well. Turn off the stove after a couple of minutes.
Ingredients and Process
This dish has a short ingredient list. You can also add more like aromatics including onions,garlic and ginger. However I have left this out since I found the flavors pretty good even without using them. This also makes the recipe sattvic (without the onion and garlic), low FODMAP and is naturally gluten-free. Please consult a nutritionist or a doctor to confirm this is suitable if you are on specific diets.
- Produce – Potatoes, Fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves
- Whole and powdered Spices – Indian red chili Powder, turmeric, whole cumin seeds, asafetida(hing),dry red chilis, kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)
- Seasoning – Salt to taste
Quick overview of the process
Remove the methi leaves from the stalk and place in a bowl filled with salted water. Let the methi soak in this water for atleast 15 minutes. We will start off by heating some oil in a wide non-stick pan big enough to hold the potatoes comfortably. Add the jeera and let it splutter. Then add the red chillies sauteing for 30 seconds before adding the diced potatoes. I used Yukon gold potatoes but you can use any potatoes of your choice.
I would suggest using a non-stick frying pan since potatoes can stick to the pan as they cook. Using a non-stick pan just makes the clean up easier but you can use a steel pan or even a cast iron pan. Ensure you use enough oil to coat the surface, keep it at medium heat and saute the potatoes regularly. Now add the turmeric, chilli powder, asafetida along with salt. Mix well. You can use a lid to keep the pan closed to help cook the potatoes quickly but keep sauteing them once every 3-4 minutes. You can also add a couple of spoons of water to the pan to help create some steam.
In the meanwhile, rinse the methi leaves well ensuring it is completely clean. You can either chop it roughly or add it in whole once the potatoes are almost done. I reduce the heat to medium low and add in the leaves and mix well. I dont like cooking methi for too long and let it cook until it just cooked before it completely wilts. However at thsi point, it still retains some bitterness.If you prefer, you can let it cook for additional 3-4 minutes until the leaves completely wilts. Add more salt if required at this point and top with the kasuri methi before turning off the stove.
How to serve and store aloo methi?
Serving – The simplest way to serve up this dish is to serve alongside some warm Indian flatbread like chapati or roti. You can serve it with some plain steamed rice or jeera rice but I would suggest also serving a gravy like this chana saag or dal since the aloo methi itself will tend to be dry. It can also be served with a side of unsweetened yoghurt/buttermilk.
Another wonderful way to serve this would as a filling for kathi rolls which are similar to burritos. Place the aloo methi inside the flatbread and roll it up. Add a favorite sauce or chutney for some added flavors and serve.
Storage – Aloo methi does well stored for up to 3 days refrigerated. The crispy skin on the potatoes soften up as time goes by but it does not affect the flavors. I dont really recommend freezing since the structure of the potatoes changes quite a bit once frozen and reheated. Again the flavors will hold but I would highly recommend finishing this up in a couple of days( which should not a problem!)
I hope you give this aloo methi a try! Its hearty, flavorful and such a breeze to make. Let me know any feedback, questions or suggestions below in the comments section. You can also tag me on Instagram or follow along on Facebook/Pinterest. Sign up for my newsletter for the lastest recipes.
- Fill a bowl with water and add a couple of teaspooons of salt. Mix well to dissolve the salt and add the methi leaves. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick pan and add the avocado oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and wait for it to splutter. Now add the broken red chilis and saute for 30 seconds. Now add the diced potatoes. Add the turmeric ,chili powder and asafetida. Mix well.
- Saute regularly for 5 minutes to ensure the potatoes dont stick to the pan. Now add some salt, mix and cover the pan with a lid. The cover helps trap the heat and will cook the potatoes faster. Saute once in 3-4 minutes until the potatoes are almost done.
- Drain the methi leaves and rinse them well. You can add the leaves whole or add them well chopped. Mix well and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Season with more salt if required. Top with kasuri methi.Serve hot with flatbread and/or rice.