Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Great Grandmother's Recipe

Sprouted Methi Bhaat

Last month my mother's aunt had invited us for dinner. Amongst all the fabulous food that were served, the rice really stood out as it was unsual and unlike anything I've had so far. It was a spicy sprouted methi (fenugreek) pulao/bhaat. As soon as I started raving about it I noticed all the you-didn't-know-about-this looks directed towards me. Turns out that this rice dish was greatly favoured by my great grandmother and one that she made frequently. But I didn't know all this; thanks to a certain someone.
The only thing I could do that this point was direct how-could-you-not-tell looks glares at my mother.

Methi, the seeds and the greens, are an all time favourite with us. Sprouted methi seeds are slightly sweet and bitter all at the same time. A lot of folks(including mine) routinely eat a couple tablespoons of sprouted methi with their morning tea. Read more on the nutritional benefits of methi here.

Coming back to the methi bhaat: this simple bhaat is a perfect accompaniment for any meal but is also quite satisfying on it own with some raita/ salad. Initially it seems quite ordinary (it certainly looks that way), but that is only till you bite into a methi seed; sweet bitterness!

As the cumin-corriander powder is the only masala used, ideally it is freshly made as it makes a huge difference if it is. But if the powder is slightly old, roast it on a pan for about a minute to wake it up.

1 cup rice, wash and drain
½ cup sprouted methi seeds (Unf. I didn't measure how much of the dry methi seeds yield ½ cup sprouted methi seeds.)
1-2 (or more) chillies, finely chopped
½ medium sized or 1 small onion, finely chopped
6-7 stalks cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin-corriander powder
phodni kit (oil, mustard seeds, asafetida, turmeric)
6-7 cashews (optional)
salt, to taste

Do the phodni (heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, when they start dancing add the asefetida and turmeric).
Add the chillies and the onions. Cook still the onions start browning.
Add the methi seeds; cover and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add cashews, if using.
Add the rice, half of the cumin-corriander powder, and 1.5 cups warm water.
Mix well. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
After all the water is absorbed, add salt and the rest of the cumin-corriander powder.
Cover and cook for additional 5 minutes.
Before serving add the cilantro and mix gently.

I'm sending this to Sharmi who is hosting the JFI-Rice food blog event. Jihva For Ingredients is the brainchild of Indira of Mahanandi.
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