Monday, April 19, 2010

మెంతి ఆకు-టమాట అన్నం: Menti Aaku Tamata annam- Fenugreek greens & Tomato rice

Serves: Four as a snack. Preparation time: 1 hour including assembling ingredients, washing, chopping, cooking.

1 bunch Fenugreek greens 
2 medium sized Ripe Tomatoes
1.5'' Ginger piece.
1.5 cloves Garlic
1 Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 medium sized Onion
4 Green chillies or to taste
1 Tbsp Salt or to taste
0.5 Tsp Sugar
2 Tbsps Oil
2 Rice cooker cups of Rice
3 stalks of Cilantro
Optional: Green peas

1. Wash the rice and boil it. Boil it with slightly less water (2 Tbsps less than normal) so that it is well cooked but grainy in texture. Set aside and leave to cool. 
2. Meanwhile, pluck the leaves from the stalks of Methi greens. Discard the stalks. We can use any tender stalks if they are not fibrous. Wash the Methi & Cilantro thoroughly in clean running water. Immerse them in salt water for ten minutes if you wish. Place in a colander to let the water drain out. 
3. With a mortar & pestle, pound the ginger and set aside. Pound the garlic and set aside. Pound the green chillies or chop them very fine and set aside. 
4. Finely chop the Onion and set aside. 
5. Chop tomatoes into chunks and set aside. 
6. Finely chop the Methi greens and set aside. Also chop the Cilantro. 
7. In a wok, heat the oil. Add Cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the turmeric, Garlic paste, Ginger paste, Green chilli paste and Onions. Let it cook until onion browns. You can add the salt at this stage since salt draws out moisture from the onions & makes them crisp. However, traditional cooks like to add salt right at the end. 
8. Mix in the chopped Methi greens and tomato chunks.  Add red chilli powder if you like the taste (optional). 
9. Cover and cook for six to seven minutes by clock. The tomatoes soften and make the mixture go soupy. 
10. Mix in the sugar (and the salt if you didn't add it earlier) and rice. Let it cook for a minute. The rice soaks up the soupy juices and turns out dry. 
11. Garnish with chopped Cilantro. 

Serve with a Perugu pacchadi or Raita
1. Adjust the garlic, ginger, green chillies according to taste. 
2. Traditional cooks say that souring agents like tomato/tamarind etc halt the cooking process. If you feel touchy about that issue, let the Methi greens cook for sometime before adding the tomato chunks. I add them together since I like to expose greens to the minimum cooking time, my greens just get cooked along with the tomato instead of initially being cooked & then cooked again while the tomato cooks. 
3. I cook the Methi greens for only 6 or 7 minutes since I make a small quantity (it cooks quickly). Also, it is advisable to cook greens for no longer than 8 minutes to preserve most of the vitamins and phytochemicals. However, traditional cooks may complain that the greens are still raw, you can cook it for longer if you wish!
 4. This same recipe can be made with Pudina (Mint) greens instead of Methi greens & Tomato. Also, a mix of greens can be used (Spinach, Mint, Fenugreek, Cilantro). However, remember not to club Tomatoes with Spinach. 
5. Try tossing in a handful of green peas for taste, nutrition and visual appeal!

I have fond memories of this dish, mom made it once when my sister & I were in an 'I-am-not-hungry' phase, this made our mouths water and our stomachs rumble!! One of my all time favourites. Very simple to make, great taste along with the goodness of green leafy vegetable...
Aahaahaahaa, try this out if you want to know what "Yummy" means!


  1. This is not a "traditional" Telugu recipe, it is something regularly made at home with our traditional ingredients so I added it since all of us can learn a variety of easy dishes. However, if you find it inappropriate here (since it is not a traditional recipe), should we start a new separate blog of "not very traditional" recipes made in our homes? Please comment/advise?

  2. chla bagundi chaduvuthunte. naaku teliyadu ila chestarani. nenu palakura tho annam chestanu idi theliyadu. nenu kuda try chestanu.I think mana intlo manamu vande vantalu ani pettavachu ani mari mana boss emantaro? wait and see!

  3. Hi Vineeta!! I made this today for dinner and it turned out so yummy that kalyan wanted to know how to make it, becoz he wants to cook it when I am gone to India.

  4. Thanks a lot for this nice, easy and tasty recipe

  5. You're most welcome :-) Does it mean that I do not need to delete this not-authentic recipe?
    How come nobody's blogging nowadays..

  6. Nooo deleting this recipe...this caught my attention soon as I saw it :D Looks soo yummy...can't wait to make it when my turn arrives :P

  7. ohoho choti nanad, since this blog started all because of you/for you, this has got to stay I guess ;-))

  8. Hello Vineeta,
    I prepared this for dinner today. I am not a fan of methi but its very good for health and I saw this recipe and I made it and it turned out great.I added some mixed veggies to it as well :-) .Thanks for sharing