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kasuri methi


torakris
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In an indian cooking class I attended today we used a spice called kasuri methi in a cheese curry dish.

I thought I was quite familiar with Indian spices but had never heard of this before.

It was a very green color and in powder form. It was added to the curry at the very end of cooking with the garam masala.

What is it and what other types of dishes is it used in.

I also had my first experience with black cardamom, wonderful, wonderful stuff!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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In an indian cooking class I attended today we used a spice called kasuri methi....

I know what methi is - It is a leaf vegetable just like spinach - Aloo Methi {Potato and methi} is an acquired taste. Once you like it it kind of grows on you, Quite popular in Northern India and often served in rajasthan. I just looked it up in my quick reference -- It is indian fenugreek

anil

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Methi is Fenugreek, it is green leafy, sold fresh when in season in small cilantro like bunches with leaves being more clover like. It has a slightly bitter aquired taste and is popular with northern Indians.

Its used fresh like a vegetable.

It is also used dried as a spice to add that special extra flavour at the end of the cooking process. The dried version is called kasturi or kasuri methi for two reasons. one the word Kasuri or Kasturi refers to a place/region, now in Pakistan which apparently produces the most flavorful methi and seccond becauce if you said kasuri methi it automatically implied that it was dried as the chances of getting fresh methi all the way from Kasur were very slim. The dried methi can be reconstitued by soaking in water but is not as good as the fresh stuff.

Methi or fenugreek seeds are also used. Very sparingly at the begenning of the cooking to infuse the oil with the flavor which is popular in the south or in pickles or 'achars' in the north.

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.....The dried version is called kasturi or kasuri methi for two reasons. one the word Kasuri or Kasturi refers to a place/region, now in Pakistan which apparently produces the most flavorful methi and seccond becauce if you said kasuri methi it automatically implied that it was dried as the chances of getting fresh methi all the way from Kasur were very slim.  ....

Learn something new every day. Thanks for filling in the gaps.

anil

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Methi is Fenugreek, it is green leafy, sold fresh when in season in small cilantro like bunches with leaves being more clover like. It has a slightly bitter aquired taste and is popular with northern Indians.

Its used fresh like a vegetable.

It is also used dried as a spice to add that  special extra flavour at the end of the cooking process. The dried version is called kasturi or kasuri methi for two reasons. one the word Kasuri or Kasturi refers to a place/region, now in Pakistan which apparently produces the most flavorful methi and seccond becauce if you said kasuri methi it automatically implied that it was dried as the chances of getting fresh methi all the way from Kasur were very slim. The dried methi can be reconstitued by soaking in water but is not as good as the fresh stuff.

Methi or fenugreek seeds are also used. Very sparingly at the begenning of the cooking to infuse the oil with the flavor which is popular in the south or in pickles or 'achars' in the north.

And in many homes in Kashmir, Haryana and Punjab area, Kasuri Methi (or when methi is available fresh) is added into Saag (in this case that made with spinach). A little of this goes a long way.

I use even the dried leaves as a spice to infuse flavor in the oil just as the seeds are used in Southern India.

Thanks BBhasin for sharing the story behind the name. I learn something new and wonderful each day. :smile:

What dish did you all prepare Torakris? What was it called?

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It is also used dried as a spice to add that  special extra flavour at the end of the cooking process. The dried version is called kasturi or kasuri methi for two reasons. one the word Kasuri or Kasturi refers to a place/region, now in Pakistan

:rolleyes:

"Qasoor" is the place in Punjab province of pakistan.

The dried version does not necessarily come from that province, though the original intent was to export the fragrant methi from that part of the world. Just like Kashmiri mirch comes from other parts of India.

Qasoori methi is a herb and not a spice.

Number of recipes out there spell it as "kasturi". :unsure::shock:

:rolleyes:

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What dish did you all prepare Torakris?  What was it called?

We were not given an Indian name, it was just called cheese curry in English.

We frst made some cheese with rice wine vinegar and whole milk (this took about 5 minutes!) I was so surprised at how easy this was, I had always looked at cheese recipes it seemed like they took forever to make.

Then we made the "curry" with onions, tomato, ginger and garlic paste and the spices (paprika, tumeric, cayenne, and salt). at the end we added the cheese, some milk and the kasuri methi and garam masala.

It was really good! and the whole thing took only about 15 minutes from start to finish, including making the cheese!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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torakris, that sounds like you made a quick "paneer makhni", paneer being the name of the fresh indian cheese you made.

another indian (amongst other things) spice to add to your repertoire is mace. wonderful, wonderful spice. and then there is ajwain. which i also love.

to continue the is-it-a-herb/spice discussion, i think of methi as a green. like kale or arugula. i see it as neither a spice nor a herb. hmmmm.

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to continue the is-it-a-herb/spice discussion, i think of methi as a green. like kale or arugula. i see it as neither a spice nor a herb. hmmmm.

:cool:

Methi is a green when its sold fresh. Qasoori methi as discussed in this thread in its dried form is intended to be used as a herb.

Parsley would normally be termed as a herb. A salad made from Parsley as in "Tabouleh" - would be termed as a green.

:smile:

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Talk to me about how to use the dried methi - I've seen recipes that say soak it first, recipes that say crumble it in your fingers, recipes that specify nothing other than a measurement. I have found, when it is added toward the end of a recipe, as it comes from the package, that it tends to remain a bit "grassy". Any advice?

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Talk to me about how to  use the dried methi - I've seen recipes that say soak it first, recipes that say crumble it in your fingers, recipes that specify nothing other than a measurement.  I have found, when it is added toward the end of a recipe, as it comes from the package,  that it tends to remain a bit "grassy".  Any advice?

Anna N

Anna, the way you handle it varies from recipe to recipe.

What were you making? What particular recipe did you use it in and found it grassy?

Traditionally it is soaked in recipes where it is used as a green.

If it is being used as a herb, it could be soaked or not depending on what recipe you are preparing.

As a spice it is used as a seed. But, sometimes, in some recipes, you use it as a spice even in the form of a dried green. And in these recipes, you grind the dried leaves into a powder that gives a nice spicey flavor.

I am sure the resident Fenugreek experts (Indiachef and Indiagirl) can enlighten us further when they check this thread again. :smile: Until then you have something to work with.

Anna, you were needed in the Tomato Chutney thread.... Did you read it lately? :wink:

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Talk to me about how to  use the dried methi - I've seen recipes that say soak it first, recipes that say crumble it in your fingers, recipes that specify nothing other than a measurement.  I have found, when it is added toward the end of a recipe, as it comes from the package,  that it tends to remain a bit "grassy".  Any advice?

:hmmm:

Dried methi and qasoori methi may not necessarily mean the same.

Although both these terms are used to denote Packaged dried Qasoori Methi as sold in South Asian grocers.

Qasoori methi (dried) needs to be lightly warmed in a pan on stove top, constantly in motion. Toasting in the oven may brown or burn the leaves. The purpose here is to facilitate crushing between fingers when adding it to finish a sauce. Excessive roasting may tend the methi to loose its fragrance and give a very odd flavor.

Most Indian restaurants, would have warmed crushed methi in an open spice container ready to be added to the dish at the moment. Personally, I would only warm it up and crush it straighwaway in the sauce before finishing. This helps retain most of its flavor. The process of roasting normally erodes the flavor of a spice. Roasted powdered spices and herbs normally do not need much cooking. It is usually added towards the end of cooking.

To specifically answer your question, the Recipe in itself should spell out its usage. However most recipes out there usually give a list of ingredients with their measures and a Cooking Method to follow, with not much emphasis on the "WHY" of it. If there is no measure specified, it usually denotes a good size pinch of methi crushed between the fingers.

The grassy texture of the methi is due to impurities in the product itself. Normally this type of Methi should be made from the leaves only, but manufacturers tend to use the stalks to add bulk to the product.

It could also be because the Methi is not warmed enough to be crushed.

Recipes that calls in for soaked methi usually uses Methi as a noticeable ingredient as in Aloo Methi.

Palak in an Indian restaurant for an example is normally fortified with methi. We used to do this with fresh fenugreek. But most would use the dried methi crushing it between fingers.

Then there is also the salad methi grown in sands. Its leaves are tiny and these are eaten raw with a simple dressing and chopped onions.

:smile:

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Anna N, let's start with fenugreek seeds - brown, vaguely cubical, tiny.

I use those in tarkas, add at the end, before adding main ingredient because they burn quite easily. Gorgeous falvor. Sort of pungent and nutty at the same time. Really comes through when used with lentils in a dahl or a dry potato curry

Now for the dried leaves.

One way I make a curry or dahl. I make a tarka (seasoning the oil, described in various threads here). Then I add onions and when they are nicely caramelized, I add the dried leaves, turn the gas down to a medium and stir until I can smell the fenugreek. Put a splash (literally) of water in and quickly put a lid on. Let it "steam" for a minute or so and then add the potatoes/tomatoes/lentils etc. I've almost never added it in the end - I should try it some time. If I do, I think I'll probably add it with a but of butter and still add a splash of water and let it steam for a few minutes.

The fresh green -aah.

You can use that in any way you would use a typical green - except perhaps raw. So a quick stir fry, beginning, end, whatever works.

Hope that helps.

Suvir? Me, resident expert? Yeah right.

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Wow thanks for all of the information!

The type I used was ground very fine, since I had never heard of it before, I tasted it straight out of the package to see what it tasted like (to the complete shock of the other students! :blink: ) and I, like Anna described, found it grassy and likened it to tea leaves. However after being added to the dish (barely heating it) I could barely detect its taste.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My mother brings this for me from India.

The dried leaves are picked by hand from fresh ones that are approved by our chef, Panditji. He cleans the batch, trims it and then dries it for use in our home in India and also for my sister and me in the US.

One has to only open the bottles we have in our pantry and the smell of methi permeates the pantry.

If the leaves and freshly dried and are all leaves, the stuff is very potent.

In fact my last batch had some dried yellow in it as well. Which is more like a dried light green.

That batch was the most amazing ever. It was from my parents kitchen garden in Ludhiana, a city in the state of Punjab where my father was stationed for a period of time.

My mom tells me that this year they shall grow some in their vegetable patch in Delhi. And she will send some dried leavs for me as I have been pestering them for more of the home grown leaves.

Methi leaves are very flavorful.

Methi seeds are more bitter in taste to me, but make all the difference in the dals and curries they are added to.

In fact my music teacher and I each have a family recipe of a potato dish with a sauce and in each of our versions, fenugreek seeds are an essential ingredient. She comes from Bangladesh and I from India, and our potato dishes are more similar than different. And what makes them similar is the generous use of the fenugreek seeds.

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  • 5 months later...

I have heard that methi [Trigonella foenum-graecum] and kasuri methi [Trigonella corniculata] are two related but separate species. We ate the ordinary methi greens in Bengal, in a dry preparation that included potato, eggplant and pumpkins. The kasuri methi plant looks exactly the same, but it is so strongly fragrant that one can immediately notice the difference between a kasuri methi patch and the ordinary methi. I may be quite wrong, and wonder if someone’s relative could send a few seeds over of the kasuri kind; IARI, Pusa, New Delhi, can supply several different landraces and cultivars of kasuri methi. We could grow them out here for comparison.

In this vein, the parsley sold in Kolkata markets [New Market, Jagu Babu Bazaar etc.] is quite unlike any “true” parsley [Petroselinum crispum] in flavor. Besides Europeans, I noted with interest that this herb also is used by Kolkata Parsis when boiling meat for dhansak. Would be very grateful for a botanically accurate insight from Kolkata botanists [about this latter herb, the Kolkata ‘parsley’] or anyone with reliable information.

thanks.

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