March 3, 2015

Methi Matar Malai - low fat version | Easy side dish for Roti and chapatis | North Indian Gravies

I love fenugreek - in both dried and fresh forms. Thankfully my family does too - and we are lucky to have access to fresh fenugreek (menthye soppu in kannada, venthaya keerai in tamil, methi bhaji in hindi) through the year. A rich source of calcium and folic acid, we especially love Methi Rice, Grilled Methi Bhakri Pizza, Methi Kadhi, Kadai Methi Matar, Aloo-Methi stir fry and a rustic Menthe Kattina saaru (fenugreek leaves-dal broth) that mom makes amazingly well :-) :-))

Its been 50 months since we at Blogging Marathon (BM) family got together. We had a lovely meet with most of the India-based bloggers last week. 

This week, as part of BM # 50, we have fenugreek leaves as the theme. First in this series,  is a low-cal and low fat version of the popular restaurant dish Methi Matar Malai. Simply translated it means fenugreek and peas simmered in a rich creamy gravy.  As usual, I knew there would be no takers for such a creamy dish at home, so used non fatty substitutes for a yummy meal. Even my FIL who is generally taciturn approved of this dish, and asked for second helpings. So, thats saying a lot I guess. 

Notes: we made this once with onions and once without. Both were equally tasty. 

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 20 mins | Serves : 4
Methi matar Malai - low fat version  : Fenugreek leaves and peas in creamy gravy
Serving suggestions : Chapati / Roti / Naan or Kulcha

  • Fresh fenugreek - 1.5 cups (packed)
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Green chillies - 1 no
  • Fresh or frozen peas (I used the former) - 1/2 cup
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Jeera - cumin seeds 1 tsp (optional)
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 TBSP (or to taste)
  • Sugar - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Low fat milk - 2 cups

  • Onions - 1 medium  (or 1/2 large)
  • oil - 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon stick - 1/2 inch
  • Garlic pods - 2 - 3 
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Green chilly - 2 or 3
  • Elaichi / cardamom - 1 pod
  • poppy seeds- 1 tsp
  • cashew nuts - 8 to 10 

  1. Wash, sort and chop methi leaves finely. Drain well. In a pan, heat oil. splutter jeera and saute onions. Add chopped green chillies and methi leaves, fresh peas and saute on a low flame for 5-9 mins till they wilt gradually. Cool. 
  2. In another pan, heat 1 tsp of oil , and saute all the ingredients of the gravy one by one. cool and make a paste with minimal water. 
  3. Add this paste back to the sauteed methi leaves and mix well on a low flame till raw smell if any disappear.  add salt, garam masala, red chilli powder, sugar and half of the milk and let it lightly simmer. Check for taste, add more milk if required for a slightly runny gravy.
  4. Serve warm with rotis and a green salad


  1. Wow one of the most popular dishes this methi malai mutter sure is tempting.

  2. A tempting side dish. Milk cuts down the calories still lending the creaminess to the dish.

  3. Very interesting variation of the creamy original recipe.

  4. Wow. Looks so tempting and inviting. Perfect one to have with chapatis.


  5. Prefect side dish to enjoy with rotis, am yet to do this delicious side dish.

  6. Its green and filled with nutrition... can mix it will ghee rice and also have it

  7. Methi malai dal looks tempting. Nicely done.

  8. This is a one of our all time favourites but we didnt make it too often because of its richness. Adding milk instead of cream is such a good idea! I have tried it with dal makhni also, but never tried with methi malai - now its time to try it!!

  9. I love this dish and would want to make it again..nice one..

  10. I also use milk as a sub for malai :)

  11. Nice idea to make a low fat version. Will try this sometime soon Kalyani..

  12. Wow, that curry looks so creamy & delicious. It must have tasted amazing.

  13. A superb dish and delicious too.


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