Every month or so, particularly in the winters, we receive cartons of luscious fresh vegetables from our farms. The methi, mint, radishes, amlas, eggplants and tomatoes overflow my kitchen and living off a veggie diet becomes so easy.
Today I was reminded of a salad that I had at my maternal aunt’s place in the holy city of Shrinathji. Her place is a foodie’s heaven – varieties of Indian dishes flood the dining table, and each and every item has it’s own uniqueness, taste and place on your plate. This fresh methi leaves salad at first sounded rather daunting – imagine chewing down bitter leaves? But being a polite guest that I always am, took two spoons to try. Needless to say, I took many more helpings thereafter.
I’m not gonna lie and say it was not bitter – yes it was bitter, but it was balanced off with the sweetness of honey, the crunch of peanuts and sesame seeds and the tang of lemon. This dish is really what I would bring to a Masterchef judge’s table – and win!
Now, I don’t really know how my family is going to react by me sharing this unique recipe – but this is simply too good for you not to try. I strongly encourage all of you to make a small portion at least once, lather a generous amount of dressing and take it with you to work, have as a mid afternoon snack or for a ladies lunch.
So, here goes:
Ensure the methi leaves are fresh, crispy and well washed. It is essential to wash any green leafy vegetable extremely well. One trick I have used frequently is to wash fruits and vegeatbles with a cup of vinegar mixed in water. The vinegar instantly removes any bacteria or pesticides on the surfaces of the food.
I crushed the peanuts and sesame seeds, but you are welcome to keep them whole – it makes no difference in taste. Originally, there was some garlic in the dressing, but I chose not to – but feel free to add some; Kitchen Therapy is all about adapting to your tastes and likes.
Serves: 3-4 individual portions
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
- 1 ½ cup fresh methi leaves
- 2 tbsp toasted peanuts, crushed
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cut ginger
- Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Juice of two lemons
- Salt + pepper
- 1 tbsp honey
- Wash the methi leaves well and dry completely between two thin towels.
- Toast the peanuts and sesame seeds separately and leave to cool and subsequently crush.
- For the dressing, mix the lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper well. In a small pan, heat the oil gently and add the ginger pieces. Once the ginger caramelizes, add the asafoetida and let cook. Remove from the stove and stir into the dressing. I recommend to make the dressing a few hours before to really infuse the ingredients well.
- Mix all the components just before serving.