Methi Pithla

Pithla is a Maharastrian preparation using besan as the main ingredient. This dish can be flavored with a variety of vegetables. Leafy greens like spinach or methi are popular as they blend in nicely. As a child I liked the pithla dry and chunky. I refused to eat it if it were even a little runny. Now I like it either way. Today I made chunky pithla.

You will need
1.5 cups besan
1 bunch methi
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. yogurt
5 cups water
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Madhava agave nectar (or 1 tsp. sugar)
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 asafetida
olive oil

Heat olive oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they crackle add the asafetida and turmeric powder. Then add onions and sauté. While the onions are cooking, wash the methi and separate the leaves from the stems. Wash the leaves again, drain and chop finely. Add to the onions and let it cook for another few minutes.

When the methi is cooked it will shrink in size.

In a bowl, add the besan, yogurt and water and whisk together. Add salt, chili powder, nectar (or sugar) and whisk again.

Add the mixture to the onions and methi. Keep whisking the mixture on medium heat until the besan is heated through. This prevents the mixture from sticking to the bottom or forming lumps.

Cover and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and using a spoon mix well. Repeat until the besan is cooked. Serve hot.

You could add whole cloves of garlic to the oil with the mustard seeds. It adds a unique flavor.


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