Methi Dal Recipe | Fenugreek Lentil Curry (Vegan)

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Methi dal is a comfort food made with fresh fenugreek leaves simmered in delicious Tovar dal/tur dal (pigeon pea lentil) that is infused with flavourful herbs and spices.

This methi ki dal is also referred to as methi dal fry or methi dal tadka. This is a vegan, beginner & bachelor-friendly, diabetic-friendly, high-protein nutritious curry.

This healthy and tasty methi dal goes very well with jeera rice, Tava paratha, roti and even just plain steamed rice along with papad and pickle.

My personal favourites are Tava paratha and jeera rice. That’s one of our most loved family meals.

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Dal/lentils are a staple food in India. Dal is prepared almost every day for meals and served along with rice or roti. 

Dal is considered to be the main source of protein for many vegetarians.

In Indian cuisine, you will usually come across such recipes where greens or even sprouts are combined with protein-packed lentils which increases the nutritional value of the dish and makes a filling meal.

At home, we normally like to add other greens such as spinach (palak), amaranth (red math), dill (shepu), raddish (mula) to the dal which enhances the taste of the whole curry.

This is one of the best ways to include greens in your diet.

Methi dal is often made in many households all across the country with variations depending on region to region.

Making this methi dal curry isn’t complicated at all and is very easy to include in your everyday meals too.

The mild bitterness of the fenugreek leaves (methi) blends very nicely with sweet & sour dal (lentil) making it a delicious option for your meals.

This methi dal / fenugreek curry is a perfect combination of protein and fiber for plant-based meals.

Currently, fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) are available abundantly in the market hence making this methi ki dal was inevitable.

I always use fresh fenugreek leaves here, but you can use frozen fenugreek leaves (methi) as well for making this methi dal.

At the end of making this dal, I love to add an extra tadka / tempering of cumin seeds which adds a nice smokey flavour to this dal.

This aromatic cumin & red chilli tadka / tempering oomph up the flavour of this dal making it more delicious. Try not to skip this tadka at all.

To make this simple delicious methi dal, I have used fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) which I washed and then chopped them finely. I have used Toor dal also known as arhar dal/pigeon peas for this recipe.

A flavourful tomato masala is made in which the methi leaves are cooked and then simmered with the dal.

To season this dal I have used jaggery / gul for the sweetness and kokum (tangy dry fruit) to give this dal a hint of tanginess. You can easily substitute these with sugar and tamarind pulp.

Ingredients used in making this methi dal

Methi / Fenugreek Leaves: I have used fresh methi leaves/fenugreek leaves. Use only leaves, pluck leaves from the stems and wash them with water to get rid of mud/dirt and chop them finely / roughly.

Dal / Lentils: I have used arhar dal also known as tur dal (pigeon peas) in making this methi dal. You can also make this with red lentils (masoor dal), yellow mung lentils (yellow moong dal) or chana dal. You can mix and match the dal too as per your preference.

Vegetables: I have used finely chopped tomatoes here which impart a nice flavour and texture to this methi dal.

Spices & Herbs: I have used basic spices like, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and Maharashtrian goda masala (you can substitue goda masala with garam masala)

Seasonings: I have seasoned this dal with salt, kokum ( you can use tamarind pulp) and gul / jaggery (you can use sugar instead).

Tadka / Tempering: To make the tadka, I have used oil, cumin seeds, dry red chilli and red chilli powder.

Oil: I have used sunflower oil to make this methi ki dal / fenugreek lentil curry.

Water: To adjust the consistency of the dal and to cook the dal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we store this methi dal?

You can store this dal in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat while serving.

What other leafy vegetables can be used instead of methi / fenugreek ?

You can use, spinach (palak), amaranth (red / green chavali), dill (shepu), raddish (mula) instead of methi/fenugreek.

Can we make use of other lentils to make methi dal?

You can use yellow moong dal, chana dal, and masoor dal instead of tur / arhar dal to make this recipe.

What can I use instead of kokum and jaggery?

You can use tamarind pulp and sugar instead of kokum and jaggery (gul).

What can I serve this methi dal with?

You can serve this dal with steamed rice, tava paratha or naan.

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Food FAQs

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Methi Dal – Fenugreek Lentil Curry

Step-by-step recipe of How to make Methi Dal / Fenugreek Dal Curry

  • Wash toor dal / arhar dal / pigeon pea till the water runs relatively clear.
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  • Add 1 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook the toor dal / pigeon peas for 4-5 whistle till the dal is soft. Once the dal is cooked, whisk the dal to a smooth consistency.
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  • Pluck methi leaves and wash them thoroughly to get rid of dirt and mud.
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  • Finely chop the fenugreek leaves / methi.
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  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle, add cumin seeds (jeera) and 1/4th teaspoon of hing (asafoetida)
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  • Add 4-5 curry leaves.
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  • Add coarsely grounded ginger-garlic paste.
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  • Saute this mixture till the raw smell of ginger garlic fades off.
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  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and green chillies.
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  • Cook the tomatoes till they get soft.
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  • Add turmeric powder and saute for a minute.
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  • Add finely chopped methi leaves / fenugreek leaves and saute for 4-5 minutes till methi is cooked.
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  • Add the cooked dal.
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  • Mix the dal and add water to adjust the consistency of the dal.
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  • Add salt, jaggery (gul), kokam to the dal.
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  • Add goda masala, coriander powder, and red chilli powder and let the dal simmer on a medium flame for about 5 minutes. Keep on stirring in between. Adjust the consistency of the dal at this point.
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  • Methi Dal is almost ready.
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For tadka / tempering:

  • In a tadka pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add cumin seeds (jeera) and let them sizzle till they are golden brown. Keep the flame very low.
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  • Once the cumin seeds are golden brown add dry red chilli and 1 tablespoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder.
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  • Pour this tadka / tempering ove the dal.
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  • Delicious Methi Dal / Fenugreek Lentil Curry is ready.
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  • Serve hot with steamed rice, jeera rice or tava paratha.

Notes:

  • I have used gul (jaggery) and kokum here for balancing the flavours of this dal. You can substitute them with a teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of tamarind pulp.
  • I have used only tomatoes here, you can add onions too or you can make this dal without tomatoes as well.
  • If you do not like the taste of methi / fenugreek leaves, substitute it with spinach instead.

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Methi Dal Recipe | Fenugreek Lentil Curry

Anjali P
This methi dal is also referred to as methi dal fry. This is a vegan, beginner & bachelor-friendly, diabetic-friendly, high-protein nutritious curry.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Methi Leaves (Fenugreek Leaves)
  • 1 cup Toor Dal / Arhar Dal / Pigeon Peas
  • 1 tbsp Garlic-Ginger-Paste
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 Tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 4-5 Curry Leaves (Kadipatta)
  • 1/4th tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Goda Masala ( Or Garam Masala)
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 3-4 Kokam (Or 2 teaspoons Tamarind Pulp)
  • 1 tsp Gul / Jaggery (Or Sugar)
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle, add cumin seeds (jeera) and 1/4th teaspoon of hing (asafoetida). Add 4-5 curry leaves.
  • Add coarsely grounded ginger-garlic paste.
  • Saute this mixture till the raw smell of ginger garlic fades off.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and green chillies. Cook the tomatoes till they get soft.
  • Add turmeric powder and saute for a minute.
  • Add finely chopped methi leaves / fenugreek leaves and saute for 4-5 minutes till methi is cooked.
  • Add the cooked dal. Mix the dal and add water to adjust the consistency of the dal.
  • Add salt, jaggery (gul), kokam to the dal.
  • Add goda masala, coriander powder, and red chilli powder and let the dal simmer on a medium flame for about 5 minutes. Keep on stirring in between. Adjust the consistency of the dal at this point.
  • Tempering: In a tadka pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add cumin seeds (jeera) and let them sizzle till they are golden brown. Keep the flame very low.
  • Once the cumin seeds are golden brown add dry red chilli and 1 tablespoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder.
  • Pour this tadka / tempering ove the dal.
  • Delicious Methi Dal / Fenugreek Lentil Curry is ready.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice, jeera rice or tava paratha.
Keyword fenugreek curry, fenugreek lentil curry, lentil curry, methi, methi dal, methi ki dal

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