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Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek Seeds or Methidana – And I am Spoilt for Choice

30 May 2013 13 Comments

Fenugreek curry and besan ke gatte

A trip to hometown is more than just yearly rituals to me. It’s the time to connect with family & friends, explore some new and some old places that remain unchanged. Vacation is ‘my time’ when I do things at my own pace, follow my passion, and get in some real life. It is the time when blog posts can wait and there is no pressure to sign in to check mails and social media interactions. I completely enjoy every moment of the laid back life and mom’s yummy food.

Networking takes a back seat and I live in the real world. The day begins with an early morning walk alongside lake Fateh Sagar, reading regional New paper ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ and gorging home cooked simple yet authentic Rajasthani breakfast.

I am spoilt for choice every morning when mom puts forward a list of my all time favorite dishes and asks me to select a few.

No one at home is allowed to taste the dishes she prepares until I have clicked to my satisfaction. She has finally acknowledged that her daughter is a food blogger and does justice to the food she cooks and clicks.

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

Daughter showing the henna patterns

This is how children spend hot afternoons indoor.

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

And evenings are spend near the lakes and the beautiful Sukhadia circle near mom’s house. Yummy spicy Chaat, Matka Kulfi and ice candies…wish I could skip all the three meals for the same.

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

Everyday I would watch these vendors selling Channa Zor Garam near the lake but could not get courage to overlook the shabby vessels and buy the food. But no one can stop me to click the pictures……

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

Mom will cook a new recipe each day, this one is a sort of exotic Besan Ke Gatte (chickpea flour dumplings) stuffed with nuts and dried fruits.

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

By the time I finish my morning walk, mom will be already at home prepping for the breakfast and the lunch.

1. Fenugreek seeds Curry or Methi Dana Subji

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

There are lots of ways to cook this Fenugreek recipe, some use onion, garlic or even cinnamon sticks in the recipe. This recipe is quite popular in many Jain communities who avoid onion and garlic in their diet. I personally like this easy and simple way of cooking Fenugreek seeds.

In Rajasthan we get one another variety of Fenugreek seeds which are slightly smaller and green in colour. The green seeds are harvested before it is fully ripe and are less bitter in taste. Here is a picture in my draft taken long back with my PnS;

methi dana

Green Vs yellow Fenugreek sedds

Fenugreek seeds swell up and become slimy when soaked in water. The gummy substance on the outer covering does not dissolve in water acts as a mild laxative. And yes, Fenugreek seed recipes are definitely an acquired taste, the seeds are basically bitter in nature and if you like to explore different flavors and tastes than this recipe is your dish.


(serve 4)

  • 1/2 cup Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. jaggery/sugar
  • Salt as desired
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. dry mango or amchur powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafetida powder

Method; Wash fenugreek seeds (methi dana) in clean water and soak overnight.

Wash and soak raisins for an hour.

Heat oil in a pan, add soaked fenugreek seeds, raisins and rest of the ingredients except sugar in it.

Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat, add sugar or jaggery and off the flame.

2. Fenugreek and Poppadom Curry or Papad Methi dana Subji

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour


(serve 2)

  • 1/4 cup Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 large papad or poppadoms
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. jaggery/sugar
  • Salt as desired


  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method; Wash and soak fenugreek seeds overnight. Beat curd in a bowl and add chilly powder  salt, jaggery, raisin and turmeric powder in it.

Break the papad into small pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and pour the yogurt mix in it. Cook for a few seconds on low heat and add soaked fenugreek seeds in it. Cook for 2 minutes and add broken papad pieces.

Cook for another 2 minutes or till it reaches to the consistency you require. Add extra water to get gravy or cook further to give it a dry and semi solid consistency.

Add grated jaggery or sugar and serve with hot India flat breads.


  1. Do not overcook the fenugreek seeds, it will make the recipe taste bitter.
  2. Use yellow Fenugreek seeds if you cannot get the green variety.
  3. Raisins in the recipe give a lovely sweet bite. I end up adding extra raisins than mentioned in the recipe above.

Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour

Mom used to take care of my children leaving me alone with my camera, water and the mountains during morning walks around the lake side in Udaipur.  Yes, there is lot to share with you from a month long vacation in two beautiful states of India – Rajasthan and Gujrat. Food, history, culture, nature and more…stay connected.

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  • aparna said:

    lovely to see you back with loads of information about the beautiful city ! vacation to these two beautiful city is awesome ! you didnt mention about the climate ! hope its not that much like chennai !
    aparna recently posted..Capsicum Cheese parantha | Stuffed ParanthaMy Profile

  • Rit said:

    looking nice dish…but methidana always taste bitter to me…i cnt imagine how the dish wud taste…

  • Shubha said:

    Loved the post.Keep posting more recipes from Rajasthan and Gujarat.

  • mjskit said:

    First of all – your pictures are lovely! The pictures of the food and the scenery – breathtaking! What very interesting curries. I’ve never had anything like these. I actually have some fenugreek seeds that I bought a while back and had no idea what to do with them. The Fenugreek curry sounds quite doable and something I have all of the ingredients for except for asafoetida powder which I’ve never heard of. Since it’s just a pinch, I could probably leave it out? Thanks for sharing this lovely post!
    mjskit recently posted..A Simple Snack with Apples, Walnuts and RaisinsMy Profile

  • dassana said:

    i am liking your rajasthan posts. i have had the methi dana sabzi before in a rajasthani thali. i was wondering why you did not post the besan ke gatte. the pic is looking superb.
    dassana recently posted..kashmiri pulaoMy Profile

  • Indrani said:

    Hi Sanjeeta,

    Lovely post and lovely pictures.

    The methidana recipes are truly special. Plan to try them soon. One question – on the second recipe. Do we need to fry the papads before adding to the curry or do they get added raw?

    Thanks so much for the great blog and great recipes.


  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Indrani, No you don’t need to fry or cook papad before adding to the recipe. They soften as soon as you add them in hot curry.

  • suhani said:

    hi Sanjeeta..i m awestruck by ur photography..my eyes couldnt get down to this reality of fateh sagar..m amazed..coming on the recipes..as usual they r deicious looking..

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Suhani, Thanks for the appreciation! Hugs.

  • Helene D'souza said:

    How nice that you got the chance to visit your relations in rajasthan. I love rajasthan but I have to confess I never had much the chance to savor the food there when I was there back in 2007. Your besan dumplings look intriguing, really need to give them a try one day. I have never much cooked with methi seeds, maybe a bit more with methi leafs. Mostly that’s because I don’t really know how to use them. Imagine i never even knew there were two different types! Don’t know yet which recipe I ll try yet, they both look very appetizing.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    There’s nothing like mom’s cooking. Magic in her hands 🙂

    I’m intrigued about the methidana subji. A must try!

  • Reshma Damodaran said:

    I spent 3 good years of my teenage life in Bikaner. Loved the bright sun, the sand that changes forms each passing moment and the food!!! The food-used to live for weekends eating out spree to stuff my face…methi dana sabzi was my all time favourite. Thank you for uploading the recepie. I am going to make the sabzi for my daughter who has always wondered how methi dana can be delicious. Keep up the good work and all the best.

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Reshma, Thanks and hope your daughter enjoys the Methi dana subji!

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