My mom in law being a heart patient follows a strictly regulated diet. She used to weigh over 80 kg when she developed the heart ailment, with work and home related tension & anxiety playing havoc with her health. In a bid to reduce weight she cut down on her food intake alongside compromising with her craving for non-veg dishes. She cooks an array of delectable vegetarian dishes and every time we visit Kolkata, she makes the effort to treat me with a variety of veg cuisines. Needless to mention, all are on a healthier side with less oil and spices. But keeping our tastebud in mind, she cooks them, going beyond her usual way, adding spices and oil required to make a dish tasty. I managed to learn a few of veg dishes from her.
The one written below I first tasted in her hand only. It is an awesome dish to start your meal with. Interestingly, Begun Methi has its Gujrati variation also the recipe of which I picked up recently from a cookery show, but that I will describe later. Meanwhile, enjoy Begun Methi cooked in a Bengali way.
Ingredients:Cooking time: 20 minutes
ü1 large eggplant (cut into small cubes)
ü200 gm methi or fenugreek leaves (chopped)
ü1 tsp turmeric powder
ü1 tsp cumin powder
ü2-3 tsp sugar
üSalt to taste
ü2 dry red chillies
üWhite oil for cooking
1) Heat oil in a pan. Add dry red chillies and allow them to crackle.
2) Add eggplant cubes and shallow fry.
3) When eggplants begin to soften, add turmeric and cumin powder. Toss in the methi leaves. Stir in to mix properly. Add salt and sugar. Cook covered till methi leaves wilt. (At this stage if the curry becomes very dry, you may add a dash of water to keep the moist in.)
4) When eggplants are completely cooked through with fenugreek and spices blending into a robust flavour, turn the heat off.