Aloo Methi is an Indian sabji (vegetable dish) where lightly spiced potatoes are pan-fried and then mixed with fresh fenugreek leaves, which are sweet with subtle bitter notes. It's served with other sabjis, dal, and roti or paratha.
Methi is the Hindi name for fresh fenugreek leaves, and kasuri methi refers to dried fenugreek in English.
Although I keep kasuri methi in my home, there's nothing like the fresh herbs to enjoy. Fresh fenugreek leaves are herbs that are said to smell and taste like maple syrup. Sometimes, it's even used to make maple extract.
However, fresh fenugreek can be very bitter! When cooked with spices and another ingredients, the flavor profile transforms so that the herb is a bit sweeter and the bitterness is more subtle. This is why it makes an appearance in quite a few Indian dishes with spices, such as this Aloo Methi and methi paratha. It can also be added to saag or cooked into a gravy with paneer.
Aloo Methi is an incredibly popular sabji to make in Indian households. It only contains two main ingredients - potatoes and fresh fenugreek. The rest of the ingredients are kept in our handy dandy masala dabba. The dish comes together in about 15 minutes, with minimum effort required. It's an easy vegan and gluten-free dish to keep on the stove while prepping and cooking other dishes for dinner.
What is Sabzi?
Sabzi, or sabji, is a term in Hindi that simply refers to a dish made of vegetables. It includes a variety of vegetarian Indian dishes where vegetables are cooked in spices or in a thick gravy. A small amount of sabzi is typically served with dal or another sabzi along with roti or rice.
Sabzi is meant to be a part of a larger meal for added nutrition and fiber. Served by itself, it's not meant to be filling unless it's consumed in large amounts.
Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
Aloo Methi is incredibly, incredibly simple to allow the flavor of fenugreek to shine through. There are only a few spices to give the potato some flavor, and the fresh fenugreek does the rest of the work.
- Potatoes - Also known as aloo. Any type of potato works for Aloo Methi! My favorite are russets for this.
- Fenugreek leaves - Also known as methi. Unfortunately, fresh fenugreek leaves can be hard to come by at the market sometimes, but I've always found it at Indian grocers. Check the grocery store aisles with the herbs. Nowadays, a simple Google search can show you the closest shop with fresh fenugreek.
- Spices - Fenugreek leaves are the star of this dish and where the majority of the flavor comes from, so the spices are very simple. We use cumin seeds, turmeric, ground coriander, red chili powder, and garam masala in fairly small amounts just to give the potatoes a good taste.
How to make Aloo Methi
Start by prepping the potatoes and fenugreek. Peel the skin off and dice the potatoes into cubes. Add as much or as little fenugreek as you'd like, however too much can become bitter. Chop it roughly or finely according to your preference!
(Optional) To remove the bitterness from methi, blanch the leaves in boiling water with salt for a minute, then transfer them to ice cold water.
Start by heating oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and sauté them just until they start to pop. Then, add the diced potatoes. This is the point where you can also add additional chilis or vegetables like peas, cabbage, etc. Sprinkle the turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, and salt over the potatoes. Toss everything together so that the potatoes are coated in the spices.
Continue to cook the potatoes until they're fork tender, and have started browning as well. This is where the potatoes get all of their flavor! Taste a potato to make sure it has enough spices and adjust as necessary.
Add the fresh fenugreek into the pan along with the potatoes. Toss everything together again. Then, lower the heat to a low setting and cover the pan. Allow the potatoes to steam until the fenugreek has fully wilted. It'll be a dark green color when it's ready to serve.
Aloo Methi fry should be one sabji served alongside a few others, because the sabji by itself will not be very filling. I especially loving pairing it with a dal, like Whole Masoor Dal.
Serve aloo methi ki sabji while it's still warm with Indian bread, like roti or paratha.
More Indian Main Dishes to try
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Aloo Methi Sabji
- Peel the potatoes. Dice them into small cubes. Wash the fenugreek leaves. Remove most of the stems from the fenugreek. Roughly chop the herb.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and sauté until they begin to pop. Then, add the diced potatoes. Sprinkle the turmeric, garam masala, coriander, red chili powder, and salt. Toss the potatoes and spices together.
- Continue to cook the potatoes until they are fork tender and have lightly browned on the outside, about 7-10 minutes depending the the size of the potatoes.
- Add the fenugreek into the pan and toss everything together. Lower the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Steam the potatoes until the fenugreek wilts into a dark green color.
- Remove the Aloo Methi from heat and serve warm with paratha.