Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Methi Kela nu Shaak

On our last trip to Vegas, we were a group of eight driving from Phoenix to Vegas. That was one memorable trip! No, I would not like to infringe on your time telling you how we spent time in Vegas, the powers that be out there have spent enough time and money propagating their message - What happens here stays here, whatever. But sure would like to share this snippet with you.
On the drive, one of the friends mentioned he had an assortment of bitter chocolates fresh from Europe. Now, I'm a major sucker for bitter chocolate, but the max I had tasted was 67% chocolate. He opened this beautiful green wrapper and gave us all half an inch piece, maybe less. I protested and was ready for more, blurted out something like I can handle the bitter chocolate! He cautioned me and then showed the wrapper - 97% Chocolate it said. He instructed us to savor it slowly and mindfully, adding it was for serious chocolate lovers only. BITTER it was! For a long time after that we gulped bottles after bottles of soda but to no avail, the bitter taste still lingered on the tongue for a long time. He, it seems had acquired a taste for it and quite blissfully had a few bites. As for me, I had to take my words back, I had only tasted bitter chocolate in a very mild form before that, I realised.
Anyway, what has that got to do with Methi Kela nu Shaak? Well, just that the bitter and sweet combination of this delicacy reminded me of the incident and of the sugar that goes into the chocolate to camouflage it's real bitter taste.
As far as I know, this is a Gujarati delicacy and the bitter & sweet tastes mingle very well with each other. It is a quick dish and can be whipped up in a few minutes flat. Whenever I make this at home, irrespective of the number of banana's that go in, be it 4, 6 or 12, the bowl is always licked clean, it is that good! If you like methi, you will surely like this one. The first time I heard that it was going to be a part of the menu, I hastily opened the snack boxes to see if I can use anything else in lieu of the dish. When pestered, I grudgingly tried it, you know the rest.....
Here is how I make it.
4 ripe banana
1 bunch methi finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
rai, jeera, hing
haldi, 1/2 tsp red chili pwd, 1/2 tsp dhaniya pwd, 1/2 tsp sugar
Heat oil, add rai, jeera, hing. After rai splutters, add haldi, red chili pwd and immediately add chopped methi. Sprinkle about 1tbsp water, cover and cook till done. Add salt, dhaniya pwd, sugar and chopped banana. Stir well and switch off flame. Some like it a little on the mushy side, you can make it as per your liking in terms of texture.
Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this dish, it is far too tasty for the minimal ingredients that go in.
Enjoy. You can serve it with Gujarati kadhi or any dal and rotli/rice. I also enjoy this shaak with just a bowl of home made curds & rotli, but that's just me!
Variation: You may add some garam masala for a different taste.
This is my contribution to Nupur's A_Z series.
I would also like to send this over to Indira & Nandita's JFI-WBB Greens.


Manjula said...

Kela and Methi! Thats something nice..Just cant imagine how it will be, gotto taste this one.

FH said...

Bitter and sweet!! Just like life!!:))
Great combo,never would have thought of this.Looks delicious,with yellow and green.Thanks for new recipe Richa:))

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

This sounds like a gr8 combo!!! Will try it out and let you know later.... and btw, your bunch of Methi looks soooo fresh and good!!!! We hardly get such fresh vegs in our part of the country :(...

Richa said...

thanks manjula.
Yup gotta' try and taste for yourself. The first time even I was not sure what it wud taste like, but loved it every time after that. If you like you can increase the quantity of red chili pwd. Enjoy

Richa said...

hi ahsa, so true, life like!!
I thought it would be a new combo for many, do try with fresh methi, you will definitely enjoy it.

hi ramya,
yes it is a very tasty mix, love it!
yup we are lucky to get such fresh veg here, a little spoilt actually. want me to ship you some fresh methi ;-)

bee said...

i've had this dish. it's superb. i'm a sucker for bitter chocolate too, in cooking i use ultra bitter sometimes, but to eat, it stops at 70%.

musical said...

Hey Richa, thats cool! very traditional dish, thanks for posting about this.

Loved your write-up. i share your thoughts on bitter chocolate :-D.

Aahaar Vihaar said...

Haven't really thought of mixing bitter and sweet in one dish. But that's just a thoughtful thing to do. The dish looks delicious too. Will sure try it.

Suganya said...

Wow It is looks very nice.... It is a different combination..

Sowjanya said...

Hi Richa,

Gr8 combo. Thanks for the recipe.

Seema Bhat said...

Oh my god banana with methi is soo sooo very new to me. At the first glance i thought it was alu. Beautifully presented.

Sig said...

Richa, that looks beautiful, a very creative combo of tastes and colors too!!!

Great story, I've never had that bitter chocolate, can't imagine chocolate being that bitter! Gotta taste some.

Also, now I am really curious about what happened in Vegas :D

Richa said...

it sure is, bee!
btw what do you cook using bitter choc?

haanji musical, i love methi, love to try many variations with it. what is ur fav methi combo?
so u too enjoy bitter choc, great! some coming ur way....

thanks AV! give it a try whenever you get some fresh methi. Not sure how it will taste with frozen methi, but if you do try, do let me know.

Richa said...

thanks sukanya!
do try it.

thanks sowjanya!
i too find this combo very unique and tasty.

Nupur said...

What a delicious and unusual combination! I love the play of sweet and bitter-savory in dishes. Gotta try this one!

Richa said...

hey seema,
thanks for your generous words.
If you like methi, definitely give it a try, you will surely like this combo.
It is quick to make as well.

hey sig, glad you enjoyed the story & the pics.
And yes, the bitter choc thing is an acquired taste, specially after a certain percentage!!
How can I break the vegas tradition, they might bar me from my yearly pilgrimmage there ;-)

Bharathy said...

Looks delicious.healthy too,perfect entry for JFI as well....oh you would be posting another 10 before the JFI deadline....and it seems u would post a unique one for JFI too...keep up ur enthu and energy...hats offffff

Coffee said...

WOAH!!!!!! Thats some combination!!!! But I havent heard it before. Bitter and sweet in its true form. :)

Am wiht you for bitter chocolates. :)

sunita said...

Wow, that's what I call a clever combo...thanks for the recipe...

Sia said...

bitter chocolate? nah...not for me... i am too sweet to have bitter chocolates;) but can eat methi kela nu shaak w/o complaining... ~hint, hint~ ;)

Pravs said...

Oh what a combination. Looks like a delicious dish.
Nice read on how bitter a chocolate can be :D

Kribha said...

Hey Richa,
Never heard of this before. What a combination? Would love to try this soon. Very colorful dish.Thanks for sharing.

Richa said...

thanks nupur,
the sweet & bitter do mingle well in this one.

thanks bharathy, you are too generous! I'm happy to know you enjoy my recipes.

thanks coffee. so we have one more botter choc fan here!!

Richa said...

thanks sunita, do try when you get a chance. enjoy...

hey sia, if you are that sweet, you definitely need a dose of bitter choc to balance it out ha!ha! too much of anything is not good!!!
anyway, sending some shaak towards you.....

hey pravs, glad you enjoyed the write up and the recipe. this is one tasty combo.

hi kribha, enjoy this dish. Thought of sharing something new with all my blog buds.

musical said...

Whats my favorite methi combo: Many ;)

I cook methi with aloo, zucchini, ghiya, chana, paneer, dahi, eggplants, plantain, get the picture-everything! :-D

I love methi, it goes well with so many vegetables and condiments.

This surely is a comfort green, besides palak.....

whats your favorite, sweetie-lemme know :).


Shivapriya said...

I have never heard of this combo. Very unusual for me. Picture looks great.

Bong Mom said...

Methi and Kela !!! What a combination..can't even imagine how it will taste :) seems to be great though from what you say

Richa said...

haanji, methi di annia varieties bananeo tusi?? I need to move in with you ASAP!!!!! I luuuuv methi ;-) alu methi made by my mommy being my most fav, but i can never duplicate the taste even if my mom is standing beside me!!! second wud be a gujju variety with besan, the only problem being even after chopping a dozen bundles of methi, i get only about a cupful of the subzi ;-(
I also like the shahi methi paneer that my di makes, Yum-O!!
somehow i've not found a recipe for methi-chole that i like. yam naal methi, o ki haega?

Richa said...

thanks shivpriya.
Yeah it is a new dish for many. You can try it with extra chili pwd if you like it on the hotter side.

thanks sandeepa, do try it. you will never know unless you try, will you?
also this is one dish which tastes great even if it is mushy, can keep the texture as per your liking.

Prema Sundar said...

methi and banana combo is new to me.nice fresh pictures Richa.

Padmaja said...

great dish and i never mixed sweet n bitter together!!!an absolute no no but u'r dish looks amazing!!!

Sharmi said...

that looks so different, is this an invention Richa? pics look great though.
nice innovative one!!

Anonymous said...

i never thought something with ripe bananas
this is smt new to me but looks great though

Richa said...

thanks prema.
I guess this sure is a new combo to many, worth trying.

thanks padmaja, do try this bitter sweet mix. There is always a first timr right ;-)

hey sharmi, thanks dear. No it is not my invention, in fact I tasted this elsewhere and has become a fav now. do try it.

thanks anusharaji. it is so quick to make if you have some banana lying around in the house along with some methi.

Saju said...

very interesting combination, I am going to try it. I often use grapes in currys, I love the sweet and hot combination
My first time at your blog - I love it so much that I have put a link to it in my blog!

Richa said...

welcome to my blog sajeda! you are too generous, thanks. I'm very happy to know you liked my blog. I'm interested to know the combination where you use fruits such as grapes?
Enjoy the recipe.

Latha said...

Wow Richa! Very unique recipes! Never heard of this combo! Fruit and greens... I'm not sure how I would like that combo honestly! But my kids love both banana and methi.. and for their sake and just because I'm curious I will give this a shot! I've bookmarked it... :-) Will let u know!
That was a nice story of the bitter chocolate!

TNL said...

Saachu Keh, tu Gujju che ne?????

this is one of my childhood favs! My mom made this..and also Kela nu shaak...which no one can make like her. Thanks for the lovely reminder.

You're a sweetheart to write me that email few days ago.
Hugs to you for that,

Kajal said...

Hi Richa,
Methi sathe kela nu shaak saru lage chhe.
It is good combo also good taste with sweet kela. I will definitely try it.
It is easy to cook and good for health also.
Have nice day.
Take Care.

Vcuisine said...

Something new for me. Never heard about this. Looks yummy. Viji

Ayesha Seerin said...

As manjula mentioned i cant quiet imagne the taste ... Should try it sometime...Nice entry..

Richa said...

thanks latha, sure do try for your kids, maybe you can take a bite from them ;-)

trupti, taney am came lagey che ke hun gujju nathi :)ha!ha! mari recipes to jo - khattu mag, kadhi, methi kela nu shaak he!he!he!
just playing with you

kajal, do try it, yes it is nutritious. tane gamse, bau quick baney che

thanks viji, do try.

welcome to my blog ayesha. yup it is a unique recipe, do try.

Pinki said...

wow what a wonderful combination..Is raw banana also gonna work fine ??

Richa said...

hey pinki, I don't think raw banana will work in this recipe. It is supposed to be a mix of sweet and savory. the raw banana will not taste sweet and cooking time also differs.

thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

richa, this is an unique recipe. never had it. now i am going tot hunt for apple cake recipe (guilty face)

Richa said...

hey reena, yeah this one is new to many. It's simple and very tasty, do try it. A definite fav for methi lovers! Enjoy!!
And yes, hope ur apple cake search lead to fruition ;-)

Sreelu said...


Never even imagined a combination like this oh my very new.

Thanks for the recipe


bee said...

richa, re: bitter chocolate, we use it to cook cakes, brownies and desserts. there's a chocolate rum cake recipe on our blog. i'll post some others soon.

Richa said...

thanks sreelu! I was totally bowled over when i tasted ot for the first time.

hi bee, thanks or pointing me to the recipe & look forward to more!

Deepa Hari said...

Hi Richa,
Kela and Methi...Never heard of this combination...Looks yummy...Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...


I am a Jain male and I love to cook. Be it that today is the first day of Paryushan, I was looking for Kela Nu Shak receipe. I used to have my grandmother's and loved it and wanted to make my own. I have made it in the past with a yogurt gravy, but I will try your receipe once Paryushan is over since we can not have any greens.
Thank you for sharing.