Sunday, November 18, 2007

Methi Na Muthiya

When I heard of the vegan event hosted by Suganya of Tasty Palettes, I immediately thought of my dear friend Jennifer. I had heard of vegans but have never met a person following it till I met her. She is a wonderful person and we met when we were working on the same project. Since I am a consultant, after my project was over, I moved on to the next client. But we still managed to remain friends. "Cow's milk is for her calf" - she says vehemently, if someone questions her choice. She was raised on steak and meat and as a teenager, she just left it and turned to veganism.

Though I do not follow vegan beliefs, I respect my friend for her beliefs & more importantly, I respect her for not being judgemental about others who do not share those beliefs.

Jen just loves Indian food. But whenever I invite her over, I really have to scratch my head to figure out the food without ghee/butter/honey/yogurt/paneer. Though Indian food really does have lots of options to make vegan food, I have to make sure that the food does not have traces of milk based products that we take so much for granted. The real challenge is to make Indian dessert without milk or milk products. South Indian coconut milk based payasams or rasayans and some sweet polis like puranpoli/gulpoli/telpoli or even Modaks are some of the sweets that qualify as a true vegan food. Just do not serve the laters with ghee as a dipping sauce!

Last time I had made Methi Muthiyas for Jen which she loved very much.

Methi Muthiya is a steamed dumpling made from fenugreek leaves and flour. Since it's steamed, it is healthy too. If you don't get fresh fenugreek leaves, spinach leaves can be substituted. I don't leave any opportunity to make it multi-grain, but only wheat flour and besan - in the same proportion as fenugreek leaves - can be used to make the equally delicious muthiyas.

Here's how I make it.
Methi na Muthiya
1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup besan
2 tbsp bran flour (optional)
2 tbsp barley flour (Optional)
2 tbsp jowar flour
2 tbsp rice flour or bajra flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar to taste
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1 tsp owa/carrom seeds/thymol seeds/ajwain
1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp Oil for tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

1. Mix all the ingredients except oil to make a not too soft not too hard dough.
2. Make 5 sausage shaped oblong rolls. Steam these rolls in a pressure cooker, dhokla cooker or pedavan. If using pressure cooker, do not use the pressure. Steam like we do for idlis. Make sure that the rolls are in a single layer and there is a little space in between each muthiya. Repeat the process if they do not fit in a single layer.
3. After it is steamed, leave it uncovered to cool down for about 10 minutes. The rolls will appear a little swollen than the raw ones.
4. Cut the rolls in small pieces.
5. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds. As they splutter, add the tempered oil to the muthiyas.
6. Garnish with cilantro.

1. You can also shallow fry the muthiyas before adding the tempered oil.
2. You can even steam muthiyas by placing a colander on top of a pot of boiling water. Cover the colander with a lid. Steam for 12 - 15 minutes.
3. I generally try to make any food multi-grain by combining multiple grains. But if you do not prefer that, you can make these muthiyas using only 1/2 cup besan and 1/2 cup wheat flour in above recipe.

Now, with my vegan snack, I am off to Suganya's Tasty Palettes for the vegan party.


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