The best part about Indian cuisine, according to me, is the plethora of flavors lent by the indigenous spices we use. Whether it is cumin, fenugreek, pepper, chilli, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon or ginger , they not only enhance the taste, aroma and character of the dish but also add a world of goodness due to their inherent benefits. Every spice has not only a distinctive flavor but also several health benefits that have been documented since time immemorial. These benefits have been extended to several other fields like medicine, personal care, beverages and pharmaceuticals.
Like all other spices, fenugreek too is a treasure house of goodness in that it is a perfect remedy for reducing LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels along with being a panacea for multiple stomach related ailments. It also works wonders for the skin and hair. Similarly, cumin is extremely helpful for all digestive related problems in addition to aiding in respiratory disorders and piles.
So, here is a recipe that combines the best of two of the most popular Indian spices along with the goodness of yoghurt whose benefits have been addressed here. This recipe serves five.
1 tablespoon fenugreek (methi) seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 or 2 green chillies
1/2 cup freshly ground coconut
1 cup plain yoghurt (I used Danone Plain Greek Style yoghurt)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 red chilli and few curry leaves
Soak fenugreek (methi) seeds in hot water about an hour prior to preparing the dish
Dry roast cumin seeds and green chillies
Drain water off the fenugreek (methi) seeds and grind the same with fresh coconut, cumin, green chillies and yoghurt
Add salt per your taste and grind to a smooth paste; add more yoghurt if needed
Transfer to a bowl and season with coconut oil as outlined below
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds; allow them to splutter after which you can add curry leaves and red chilli
Pour over the ground mixture and mix well before serving.
- You could soak fenugreek (methi) seeds overnight as well.
- Alter the quantity of green chillies as per your spice level.
- The consistency of the dish is meant to be thick like a dip/cold sauce so add yoghurt accordingly.
- You could use plain curd as well but ensure that it is thick. Yoghurt lends the dish a more creamy consistency.
- The dish tastes great with rice as well as rotis.
You could add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic while roasting the cumin and green chillies to play around with the flavor of the dish. Along with this you can eliminate the coconut oil seasoning and this could be a perfect and healthy dip for tortilla chips, wheat crackers or any other crunchy snacks.
It could also work as a nutritious and flavorful salad dressing as well as a spread for applying for bread/sandwiches.
Disclaimer: I received a sample of Danone Plain Greek style yoghurt but all opinions, as always, are my own.