Methi Dal (Fenugreek Leaves Dal)

By DK on Apr 01, 2013
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
When the time is short or when I am not really motivated to cook, I rely on dals to come to my rescue. They are so versatile that you can give them a new "makeover" every time you dish out something with lentils. Believe you me, there was a time when I made 30 different dals for a whole month for dinner and we still enjoyed it without being bored. Now, why would I cook that way is for another post :)
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
This is yet another of simplest dal recipes that you would find in a typical Indian household.  Quick to put together, protein rich, has the greens and has just few ingredients. Its up to you to make it as elaborate (adding more vegetables, spices, multiple lentils etc) or as simple (just pressure cook the whole thing and add sauteed greens towards the end) as you like. Its that versatile and easy to adapt.

my kitchen notes

Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 3 people
Yield: Serves 2-3 people
  • 1 cup Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal), see Tips
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 cups (abt 120 grams) fresh Fenugreek (Methi) Leaves, see Tips
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 med-large Onion, chopped
  • 2 large Tomatoes, chopped
  • Fresh Lemon Juice, to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Pigeon Peas: You can use any kind of lentils for this recipe. My another favorite way to make this Methi dal is with Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) which I love.
2. Fenugreek Leaves: Depending on the bitterness of the leaves and your personal preference you can use upto 3 cups. Usually cooking it reduces the bitterness and is especially not at all prominent when cooked with lentils.
Cook the pigeon peas in 2-1/2 cups water along with turmeric until soft.
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
I usually do this using my pressure cooker which takes around 8- min (3 whistles).
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
Chop off the stems and pick the fenugreek leaves. Wash them well. They are excellent hoarders of dirt. Give it a rough chop and set aside.
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
Heat a skillet/saucepan and when hot, add 2 tsp of oil. Add in the cumin seeds. When it starts spluttering, add the onion along with salt.
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
When soft, add the tomatoes and give it a quick stir. Cook for another 2 min or until the tomatoes are soft.
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
Add the fenugreek (methi) leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
or until you find the leaves reduced in volume
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
Add the cooked lentils (dal) to this mixture.
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
Stir and add more water if thick - adjust to your desired consistency. Reduce the heat and season with pepper and lemon juice.
Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
Serve warm with Indian flatbreads (roti/phulka/naan) and/or steamed rice. A light drizzle of ghee, trust me, makes this even more nourishing  :) Indian Methi leaves Recipes | Fenugreek leaves Recipes
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27 Responses to “Methi Dal (Fenugreek Leaves Dal)”
  1. Madhu

    Hi ….today I made methi Dal …. I didn’t fry my leaves ….instead I dropped them directly to dal ….it gave me bitter taste ….can u tell me how to reduce the bitterness …will be thankful if u respond …

    Stir frying the leaves reduces the bitterness, which is why I do it that way. –DK

  2. Sankar

    Thanks a lot!!…I tried the exact recipe it came out excellent. It was one of the best i have eaten. Keep posting interesting recipes. Again Thanks.

  3. Thanks!! Loved your recipe!! I am a dal lover!! I do the same procedure like u but add a little tamarind paste too!! YUMMMY!!!

  4. cintu

    2mrw im gonna try dis receipe

  5. A very simple methi dal recipe. Looks yummy delicious. I love to cook mixed methi dal (toor dal, moong and masoor dal) for more flavor and aromatic taste.

  6. Anu

    Thanks for this great easy recipe .i was looking to make something with the frozen methi. How much frozen methi is equivalent to two cups of fresh methi?

  7. I love methi dal very well with rotis. The preparation nice and tasty. I would like to know the nutritive value methi dal with toor dal.

  8. This looks healthy nad delicious. Would love to invite you to link it to Lets cook with greens event at

  9. Uvaraj

    Hi, Thanks for this recipe – It has made my day.

  10. Toshi

    Thanks for sharing this tempting recipe. I was looking for something new to do with fenugreek leaves and now I got it. I am going to make it tonight. Thanks once again. :)

  11. Prasannakumar

    Thanks for the very good recipe.

  12. Graham

    I make this dish regularly, but I crisp fry the onions before adding the methi and I also add a few chopped green chilies to add a bit of zing.
    Also I use ghee or clarified butter, lots of it, never vegetable oil.
    I have also found frozen methi packed in India and it is very nice when the fresh stuff can not be found.
    This is a lovely dish whether mildly or fiercely spiced and goes great as a side dish.

  13. Raji

    For Spicy only pepper is enough or shld we add green chilles?

  14. Chetana

    This is simple and natural

  15. simon

    I would like to learn how to cook toor dal piegon peas in gujrati style can anyone teach me simon

  16. Faye

    :wink: love methi! I add lemon juice just before serving and this adds a fantastic fresh sourness !

  17. I tried this with dried methi, yeah kasoori methi. It was delicious. I have also heard that the kasoori methi can be roasted before adding. Would that enhance the flavor?

  18. :-P Hi I always cook Methi dal and my family loves to eat with roti or sona masoori rice too. I add salt after adding dal to know how much to add :) we can also make with spinach too the same way :)

  19. Anu

    I made this yesterday for the first time! Never tried or cooked with methi before. Told myself, how can I possibly go wrong with Dals… I am the Yellow Dal Queen :-) Tasted great! Want to start experimenting more with methi!

  20. Great recipe.. thanks.. I suppose an intresting variation could be adding little amount of tamrind paste n sambhar powder to make it a curry.. Thank you again for the healthy recipe.. Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to cooking rookies like me :)

  21. kiran singh
  22. I too make similar dal…nice

  23. I love eating roti with dal. Simple but so yummy.

  24. I love this dish for its simplicity. Yours look delicious!

  25. Namrata

    Thanks for the recipe…you forgot to write when to put salt :)

    I haven’t – its at step 4 along with onions :) –DK

  26. Nance

    Would dried methi work? I have no source of fresh fenugreek leaves available. Thanks.

    Oh yes it will. Prepare everything else as mention (except the leaves) and towards the end, crush the dried methi (kasoor methi) and add it to the dal. I think something on the lines of 2-3 tbsp (adjust as per taste) would work. Do you get frozen methi? That would work equally well too. It should be available in the freezer section of Indian grocery stores. I see it in all the Indian stores here –DK

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