Part of the appeal of this dish, to me, is the fact that it is made with methi or fenugreek leaves. These pleasantly bitter greens are health superstars and taste great in subzis and curries. Paired with rice they are simply and stunningly delicious.
I would usually make Methi Wara Chawar with white rice, but this time, to make it healthier, I went with brown rice. It did take longer to cook because brown rice does need more time to tenderize than white, but the result was worth the wait.
The recipe I've used in the past did not use garam masala, but I added it this time because I thought the brown rice needed something hefty enough to stand up to it, and I wasn't sure that the other spices-- chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder-- would do the trick. The result was great, especially when I paired it with this traditional Konkani moong recipe that's mild and creamy.
Here's the recipe. Enjoy, all!
Methi Wara Chawar
1 bunch fenugreek or methi leave, chopped (about 3-4 cups)
1 1/2 cups brown rice, washed under running water and drained
4 cups water
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup tomato puree
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a saucepan.
Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the fenugreek leaves and toss to coat with oil.
Add the tomato puree and powdered spices and cook until the tomato begins to express oil.
Add the rice. stir until it starts to turn opaque, then add the water and salt to taste.
Bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice cook 50 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand 10 minutes before opening the lid.
Fluff with a fork and serve hot.