Here I am sharing a recipe for Methi Chaman without onion and garlic which is traditionally used by Kashmiri pandits.
What is Methi Chaman?
Methi is fenugreek and in this recipe, we normally use fresh fenugreek leaves. Chaman is a Kashmiri word for paneer and I prefer using my homemade paneer for its soft texture (store bought paneer can be used as well.)
It looks like Palak Paneer, and the cooking method is almost the same, but the taste is quite different.
There are so many variations and recipes of Methi Chaman. The Methi Chaman restaurants normally serve is heavily influenced by the Punjabi version and it uses onion and garlic.
If you love Methi / fenugreek leaves, this dish is for you. Since Methi leaves have a slightly bitter flavor, this also has a hint of bitterness. I used a little bit of spinach and cream to balance the bitterness and this gives a wonderful flavor.
Making this dish with fresh fenugreek leaves is always advisable, but I don't see a reason why you can't use frozen ones. Since frozen ones are strong in flavor, you will need to use a little less. I believe that there are no rules in terms of cooking, just guidelines. Be creative while cooking and you will do great.
Kashmiri Methi Chaman
- 3 Cups Fresh Fenugreek leaves ,if you are using frozen ones then just use two cubes.
- 2 Cups Fresh Spinach leaves.
- 1-5 Tbsp Mustard oil/Ghee/oil of your choice.
- 1 Tsp Cumin seeds
- 4 Cloves
- 1 Small Cinnamon bark
- ½ Tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ½ Tsp Dry ginger powder
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 Tsp Fennel Powder
- 1 Tsp Turmeric powder
- Pinch of asafoetida
- ½ Tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1-2 Tbsp Cream (optional)I have used to cut down the bitterness of methi .
- 8 Large Rectangular pieces of paneer/you can have cubes too)
- Salt according to your taste.
- 1 Tsp Ghee/Oil of your choice
- ½ Tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 Dry red chilli(break it into two pieces)
- Take 2 tbsp of Ghee/Oil in your pan .Heat it .If using mustard oil wait till it reaches its smoking point.
- Shallow fry Paneer pieces till they look golden brown from both sides.
- Take a big bowl of warm water ,mix 1 tbsp of salt and soak fried paneer pieces in it.
How to make Puree of Spinach and Fenugreek Leaves.
- Take a pan ,fill it with water.
- Let it come to a boil. Add fenugreek leaves and spinach leaves to it for 1-2 minutes .Remove it and place it in a bowl of ice water .This process is called blanching .
- Make puree of these blanched leaves using a blender or grinder .If required ,just use little water.
Making of Methi Chaman
- Take the same pan ,which we used for shallow frying of Paneer.
- Heat it .
- Once its hot add cumin seeds ,cloves and Cinnamon to it .Let it crackle. Keep the flame on low.
- Take a bowl .Add coriander powder, fennel powder, dry ginger powder ,asafoetida powder turmeric powder ,Kashmiri red chili powder to it and mix with 4 tbsp of water to it .Make it lump free by whisking it.
- Add this paste to the pan and stir it for 1-2 minute or till the oil separates.
- Add spinach and fenugreek puree to it and mix it with all the spices .Add ½ cup of water to it .Let it cook on medium/low flame for 4-5 minute.
- Add salt according to your taste .
- Now is the time to mix Paneer pieces in to it.
- Remove all the water from the Paneer pieces with the help of a paper towel and mix with all the spices, spinach and fenugreek puree.
- Cook it till it reaches consistency of your liking.
- Alternatively you can serve paneer on top of your gravy.
- If you want to add some cream ,mix it now .You can drizzle them on top too.
How to do tempering(optional)
- Take a small tempering pan.
- Add 1 tsp of ghee/oil.
- Once it is super hot add dry red chili after breaking into 2 pieces.
- Add red chili powder ,mix it and remove immediately from the flame.
- Pour this over you methi chaman gravy and Serve hot.
- Tastes best with any types of indian breads ,such as Naan,Phulka,Paratha .