“EVERYTHING SHOULD BE MADE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE BUT NOT SIMPLER”
– Albert Einstein
Be it summer or winters, nature has always provided balance in its bounty. If there are the sweet mangoes and lychees in summers, there is also karela or bitter gourd! If winter has its juicy apples and persimmons, there is also spinach greens, mustard greens and fenugreek greens. It is a clear indication that we need to do justice to what all the nature has blessed us with and make the most of it all. This also ensures that we eat balanced meals that include all the six rasa or tastes, namely – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter. The bitter is usually the one that mostly gets compromised or is undermined. I do agree that there are many who love arugula or radicchio or broccoli in their salad, marmalade on our toast, collard greens in a curry or soup, mustard green in the Saag, turmeric in a glass of hot milk or spinach parathas.
Even bitter foods can taste good if ‘treated’ or cooked well. The amla in Amla Murabba (Indian Gooseberry Preserve) and Amla Candy tastes really good even though the amla tastes really bitter and sour otherwise. My Mom’s Meethi Sounth (Dry Ginger in Sweet Cream) is another recipe where even the pungent ginger tastes so good. It is great, by the way, for winters with a hot cup of milk and helps keep flu or sore throat at bay. Ayurveda too recommends that all the sensory buds on our tongue need to be activated and gratified. So incorporate the bitter in your diet too. These foods are natural cleansers, aid in digestion, provide vigour and improve endurance. Fenugreek is much loved in my family. We add it to our parathas, Thepla, makki ki roti, lentils. We especially love this Methi Makai Matar Malai (Sweet Corn & Peas in Creamy Fenugreek Curry) and Methi Malai Murg (Chicken in Creamy Fenugreek Curry)
This stir fry is a very simple one but very comforting dish; one that takes roughly ten to fifteen minutes to cook and is wonderful to have with paratha or as a side dish. And I believe it fits in with the thought process of Albert Einstein of keeping is as simple as possible but not simpler. You will need the following ingredients. Feel free to adjust them to your taste.
2 tbsp Mustard Oil
¼ tsp Heeng (Asafoetida)
1 tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
2 Green Chilies, both split in two
2 tsp finely chopped Adrak (Root Ginger)
4 C finely chopped Methi (Fenugreek Greens)
1 – 1½ C Alu chopped in small size (Potatoes)
1 tsp Dhaniya Powder (Coriander Powder)
½ tsp Lal Mirch Powder (Red Chili Powder)
½ tsp Haldi Powder (Turmeric Powder)
½ tsp Garam Masala
¾ tsp – 1 tsp Amchur (Dry Mango Powder) – adjust to taste
Wash the methi, four-five times or till the water is free from any impurities and dirt or grits. Put in a colander or big sieve to drain any excess water.
Wash the potatoes and drain excess water.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom kadahi (wok) or pan. Let it smoke. Switch off the heat and let the temperature of the oil reduce.
Now, add heeng and jeera. Allow the jeera to crackle.
Immedicately add split green chilli and ginger. Saute for 10 – 15 seconds and add the fenugreek greens.
Saute the greens for 45 seconds on high heat and then add potatoes. Keep cooking on high heat till the liquid reduces.
Reduce the heat and add the dry spices except the amchur and stir. Cover the wok and cook till the potatoes are done.
You will need to stir the contents every now and then to ensure it does not burn or catch at the bottom.
Once the potatoes are done add the amchur powder and stir well.
Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!
Serves – 3 – 4