17 February, 2013

How to make Methi Seeds Powder.

A delicious and useful essential in any kitchen, especially a typical Andhra one.


Methi seeds powder is very easily made, and just in case you are wondering whether a "step-by-step" is justified, let me explain.

The first time I watched the process, the thing that surprised me was the duration of roasting. Left to myself, I would have probably stopped halfway there (they look pretty done even when just lightly browned).  But you really need to keep at it on a low heat for quite some time till it is very brown (though not burnt!).

So, in fact, my main reason for documenting this here, is to identify how much to roast the seeds.  This I've attempted to achieve by comparing the seeds in a before and after (roasting) photograph in the hope that it will be a reasonably accurate indicator.


I'm also going to take this opportunity to suggest that spices are a great way to start buying "organic" (in case you haven't already), because, spices are often used in small quantities, the cost won't really matter, (it shouldn't, really, for ANY organic product, but let's leave that for another post) besides which they're also generally used as-is  ie "unwashed", so not having any chemicals sprayed on is better still.   The benefits of organic produce apply all the more when the spice is used medicinally, which, for example, methi powder can be.  In India, consuming 1/4 or 1/2 or one teaspoon or so of this powder is often used in the natural treatment of blood-sugar control by diabetics (though please exercise caution, consult your doc, etc.,  and keep a close check for hypoglycemia if trying this out newly).

There are many organic versions available, some from local co-ops, or even unbranded - which I feel are the best of all.  Here I've used methi seeds from 24-Letter Mantra, a brand that's easily available in many department stores as well as online ones in Bangalore.

 Place the seeds in a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai (cast iron would be great),

 And roast over a low flame with constant stirring.

Roasting the methi seeds caramelizes some of it's sugars, rendering it less bitter and altogether more palatable.  When nicely browned, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Here is a comparison of unroasted and roasted methi seeds side-by-side.

I use the chutney jar in my mixie to grind the seeds to a powder -

A thorough whizz - to make a fine, or medium-fine powder,

And it's done. At this stage you are bound to notice that the aroma is remarkable.  Strangely reminiscent of coffee (it must be something about both being bitter seeds roasted and ground!) I always have everyone - including children coming up to see "What's cooking?" because of the awesome aroma!
Allow the powder to cool before bottling in an airtight jar. This can be stored for several weeks (at least I do), though when using in pickles, freshly-prepared is best.

Here's a comparision for colours of methi seeds roasted and unroasted as well as the powder made from roasted methi seeds - which doesn't look as brown after processing in the grinder!



6 comments:

  1. I can imagine how wonderful this smells as they are being roasted! What a fabulous blog you have - so happy to follow :)
    Mary x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary! I'm loving following yours! (Tried and loved the tomato, basil, feta bruschetta!) :) Ila

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  2. I am a diabetic living in France one of my friend send me 3 kgs of unrosted fenugreek seeds (meethi) powder ( thanks to him so much)
    but i have no idea how to store it for long time at leat for 12 months, pls help me, give me some tips.

    Natali

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    Replies
    1. Hi Natali, Thanks for stopping by. I've never stored that much of fenugreek powder at one time, so not sure. I usually grind them in batches of 100 grams, which lasts around 3-4 weeks at most. As far as I know, the aroma of both roasted and unroasted powdered methi seeds tends to dissipate over time. Not sure if the properties also diminish along with the aroma.
      Whole methi seeds do store pretty well - I've had one batch for close to two years, which seemed to be fine.
      I keep both the seeds and powder un-refrigerated in air-tight jars.

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  3. I use fenugreek powder quite a lot. How would you go dry roasting that?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heidifromoz,
      I've never roasted fenugreek powder (am guessing there is a good chance of burning it, so roasting the seeds is easier!), but I have roasted dried ginger powder, which is likely to be similar; - I'd use, around half to one tablepsoon (15ml) at a time, and simply to keep stirring it over a low heat in a thick bottomed small pan for less than a minute.
      That said, would you really need to roast the powder (what do you use the fenugreek powder for)? In many cases, unroasted powder is just fine, too. :)
      - ila

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