The Indian state of Gujarat is perched on the western coast of the Indian sub-continent and is renowned for its delectable cuisine, a marvellous menu of dishes that make imaginative use of a wide variety of fragrant herbs and aromatic spices. However, there is one spice in particular that crops up time and again, not only in Gujarati cooking, but in Indian cuisine as a whole. Fenugreek, otherwise known as methi, adds a slightly sweet, nutty flavour to a range of Indian dishes as well as a range of health benefits.
The leaves and seeds of methi are thought to help soothe the symptoms of arthritis as well as aiding digestion and boosting the metabolism. Spicing up your snacks with a hefty dose of methi is also thought to increase the libido and the spice has even been credited with bringing on labour in pregnant women.
Let’s take a look at some of the best methi snacks Gujarat has to offer.
First up, we have Methi Muthiya. These delicious delicacies are created from a thick dough consisting of gram flour, fresh ginger, a spoonful of curd and a smattering of chilli powder, coriander and cumin. Methi leaves and sugar are added, along with a little oil or ghee and the dough is worked into little balls, deep-fried until crisp and served with a selection of chutneys – an excellent snack for sharing. Those watching their calorie intake might prefer a healthier version of this snack – Methi Muthiya can be steamed too.
Flatbreads are popular all over India and one of the more popular flatbreads in Gujarat is the delicious Methi Thepla. This wheat flour bread is flavoured with fenugreek, cumin, turmeric and a chilli and ginger paste, transforming a simple bread into a spice-infused speciality. Methi Thepla is often consumed at breakfast with creamy curds on the side or as a snack to lift energy levels later in the day.
Methi is also used in sweet snacks as well as savoury. Methi Pak is one of the traditional sweets of Gujarat and is particularly popular during the winter months in Gujarat when people are keen to reach for the comfort food. This sweet is created using gum dhawada, crystals derived from gum tree branches. These crystals are cooked with wheat flour, methi seeds, sweet jaggery, ginger, cardamom and an assortment of dried fruit and nuts such as shredded coconut, walnuts and pistachios. Once the mixture has cooled, it can be cut into squares and resembles a rich fudge.
Whether it’s savoury Indian snacks or sweet treats that tickle your fancy, a little bit of spice can go a long way in enhancing the flavour of your food and giving it that oh-so eastern taste. To try some of the best authentic Indian dishes in town, pay a visit to Veeraswamy, one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants. One of the oldest Indian restaurants in the capital, Veeraswamy brings together traditional recipes with a contemporary twist – book your table today.