Methi Muthiya / Steamed Fenugreek Bottle Gourd Dumplings

Steamed fenugreek bottle gourd dumplings

Steamed fenugreek bottle gourd dumplings

I was a disaster. A recidivous disaster in their kitchen. Not that I have redeemed myself or anything but of course I am not that clueless anymore. 10 years back, newly married, coming from a disparate environment and having no clue what they eat or how they eat has its effects – For my part I did well in my own pond. My parents gratified with me exorbitant cheer and praises, in effect rendering me totally naive to any critique or opinions. But the women of the house I married into, did what they had to do. They taught me. Well. I can never equal their expertise or their flair, but here I am, attempting to recreate the mother in law’s signature dish with a bit of both, confidence and apprehension.

finger food

finger food

Muthiya literally means a fist. When grated minced vegetables are mixed with smashed rice and flour, you fist them, make little logs to be steamed and then tempered. That’s muthiya. They are delicious, healthy and a wonderful party appetiser. In his house, they make it for dinner with spiced buttermilk curry or kadhi as they call it.

Truthfully, I sucked at making this. I just didn’t get it! you make a dough, steam and then cool and then temper.. for what? A little snack. Nah! too much work. And I am lazy – remember. So when we lived on our own, I dodged this snack as much as possible. And the few times that I did pursue, I failed so miserably that I vowed never to make them again.

Methi leaves

Methi leaves

Well, bottle gourd and fenugreek leaves are not exactly my child’s favourite. So when I get to incorporate these two in one and make something appealing out of it, I decided to attempt this formidable dish, one more time. Thankfully I saved it. Relieved that I would make it yet again with a not so surly outlook and a dour mind.

What I love about this snack is the tempering or seasoning! Vaghaar or tadka or chonk as it is called in India, the finale dish is brought about by heating oil, spluttering mustard, a bit of sesame and fenugreek seeds, along with the very aromatic curry leaf and some asafoetida! Slices of the steamed dumplings are then thrown into the hot oil-mustrad-sesame mix. It is so nutty and fresh and earthy. You need to have a slice or two to know what I mean. đŸ™‚

Yea, so the ingredients for this one might not be in your spice box or pantry if you are not an Indian. But things like asafoetida and sesame and fenugreek make this dish what it is. So please go ahead and get it, make sure you have it when you try this one out.

Sesame and fenugreek seeds

Sesame and fenugreek seeds

As I proof read my write up, I realise the incessant rambling about how long and tedious it is to make this, might have dismayed you to ever attempt it. But I was digressing from the truth. The whole truth being that it is a super cool snack and all that you need is a bit of planning to complete any task. I make this for her lunch box at 6 in the morning – yea of course, with a bit of an outline.

all ready to be sliced and tempered

all ready to be sliced and tempered

The Recipe –

Ingredients

For the dumplings

  • 1 cup over boiled rice, mash it coarsely.
  • 1 cup fenugreek leaves, washed and minced
  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, washed and minced
  • 1 cup or more whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds or bishops seeds
  • 1 tsp green chili, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3-4 tsp red chill powder, or as you require
  • 2 tbsp curd or as required
  • 2 tsp oil and salt to taste
  • For the Seasoning: 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp asafoetida or hing, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp sesame seeds, 5-6 curry leaves, 1 whole red chili, 1 tbsp coriander leaves to garnish.

    Method

    Make a dough of all the ingredients listed for dumplings using curd instead of water to bring it all together. If you add too much flour the result will be hard difficult to swallow kinda muthiyas. And if the flour is too less, you will have great difficulty in bringing it all together. So add the flour little by little, to make sure the muthiyas turn out soft yet firm to hold a shape.
    Once done. Keep a wide wok on fire, fill it partially with water, place a ring or some holder in it.
    On a greased plate, grab fistfuls of the dough and shape them into small sized logs. Place them carefully on the plate. Do that with all of the dough. Once the plate is full, keep the plate inside the wok. Cover and steam for at least 30 minutes. Keep checking at regular intervals for water at the bottom.

    Right after steaming

    Right after steaming

    After 30 minutes, remove the plate full of dumplings. Cool the plate. Once cooled, slice the logs into bite size rounds. Taste one to see if the spices and salt are in check.

    Get ready with your seasoning. In a wide wok, heat oil. Splutter fenugreek seeds and sesame seeds till just right about crisp. Take care not to burn them. Throw in mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, whole red chilli and sauté for a minute or two. If the dumplings lack in salt or chilies, then sprinkle the necessary spice over the steamed dumplings before adding them to the tempering.

    Now add the sliced dumplings. Toss and serve with coriander leaves garnish.

    Sesame seeds, whole red chill and mustard tempering

    Sesame seeds, whole red chill and mustard tempering

    Note: you can prepare them ahead of time and take it along with you for a party or a get together. They require no re heating. They taste good even when cold.

    Note: Green chutney or ketchup or kadhi/spiced buttermilk can be served along with it.

    Note: For a detailed step by step recipe, click here.

    A great way to eat vegetables

    A great way to eat vegetables

    Taking this to lovely Angie’s Fiesta Friday #33. Once there, drool over these incredible rainbow pizzas that she dished up to satiate her little girl’s whim đŸ™‚ They look SO gorgeous! And a whole list of beautiful food awaits. You just have to look.

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    Red Bean Corn Quesadilla

    Have you ever wondered that there are more same gender families than the ones with both girls and boys. Like more people have all girls or all boys. Growing up with the commoness has some real intricate implications, which forms the basis of your entire life. Usually.

    My house homed giggling, naive, shopping, merry, fighting, expressive girls, who never failed to assert our feelings for each other. Whereas the better half belongs to a serious boy gang of 4! Stoic, reserved, tight lipped, the boys went about their life, without interfering much in the other. I found it so weird.
    Husband reminisces, one of the few things that they ever bonded over was …food.
    Well, the way to these boys hearts was surely through their stomachs. But you know how it is when you have 4 teenage boys who play football and are forever hungry. Oh! I would never want to be in my mother in laws shoes – ever.

    Now, that they are much older with work taking priority, the food bit seems to fade. But, I have this one particular brother in law who is a treat to feed. Being the eldest, he had big responsibility to shoulder. Giving up his dreams and passion to make a lucrative career took over and some where the love for food paled.
    Ever since, big brother started visiting Mumbai for work, little brother re ignited the man’s love for taste. Goading me to try something new and serve him every time he came over. I did it hesitatingly first, but, to my surprise he turned out experimental, curious and extremely accommodating. Perfect for someone like me, who has her decent share of mishaps in the kitchen. I love to cook. He loves to EAT. Splendid. What more could I ask for.

    And of course, Super touched by my man’s expression of affection towards his brother. Now, this I can relate to.

    One of brother in law’s all time favorite are crisp, veggie stuffed quesadillas. Apart from satiating his taste buds, the guy also has a festish for all things healthy. Its always a challenge to make something nutritious yet yumm.

    Bean Corn Quesadillas with fresh salsa

    Bean Corn Quesadillas with fresh salsa

    Red kidney beans, corn and mozzarella layered between two thin tortillas, and roasted to golden brown. Oh so yumm! This crisp finger food needs no dipping sauce or sour cream. But I did have tomato salsa faithfully sitting by its side… which was never scooped up with a quesadilla but with corn chips.

    Protein enriched rajma enveloped in tortillas

    Protein enriched rajma enveloped in tortillas

    These are essentially mexican appetizers, but they can make a decent meal in themselves when served with some soup or a light salad.

    bean, corn, cheese - yummilicious

    bean, corn, cheese – yummilicious

    No more chatting, a delish gooey cheesy recipe awaits:

    To serve 2 people –

    Ingredients

    4 flour tortillas or thin Indian flatbread/Chappathi

    For the filling:

    • 1/2 cup red kidney beans or rajma, soaked and well boiled
    • 1/2 cup corn
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2-3 green chilies, minced – optional
    • 2 tbsp spring onion greens or chopped coriander leaves
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp olive oil + little more for roasting the quesadilla
    • salt to taste
    • 4 tbsp tomato salsa
    • 4 tbsp grated mozzarella – or as you like it. More the better for me đŸ™‚

    Method

    In a pan, heat oil, saute the garlic, green chilies and onions. Once pinkish, add the corn and beans. Sprinkle salt, oregano and the chopped greens(spring onions or coriander). Mix well. Keep aside.

    when ready to serve:
    Take a tortilla, spread salsa on half of it. Place 2-4 tbsp of the filling on the applied salsa. Spread a tbsp of grated mozzarella. Fold the other side and make a semi circle. Press the corners tightly, so that when you roast, the stuffing doesn’t fall out. Now with the help of little olive oil, roast on a hot flat griddle, from both sides till crisp.

    Once done, cut into neat triangles and serve with any sauce or sour cream by the side.

    Roasted to golden brown perfection, with very little oil

    Roasted to golden brown perfection, with very little oil

    You could alternatively, spread the filling on an entire whole tortilla, then cover it with another tortilla and roast it from both sides. But in this case, you need to be super careful when you pick up the assembly to roast on the griddle. It tends to all fall apart. So its you’re call and experience basically.

    Gooey Cheese oozes its way out

    Gooey Cheese oozes its way out

    You could use fresh kidney beans or rajma or from the can. The fresh one is healthier but canned version is faster.

    Fresh tomato salsa served on the side..

    Fresh tomato salsa served on the side..

    Done with dinner, the brothers stand staring out in to the star studded sky. No talk, no discussion, no laughter, no fight… but plain pure peace. Silence can convey more affection than a thousand words of love. I get that now.