Methi Ki Ganji (Fenugreek Gruel)
Methi Ki Ganji (Fenugreek Gruel)
About this Recipe
In Asian cultures, fenugreek is a popular galactagogue and is fed to new mothers in a variety of ways. Methi ki ganji was how I preferred it. The seeds, once soaked and cooked, are infinitely less bitter. The coconut milk adds a sweet and nutty flavor, and the rice and dal add a savory note, as well as body, for a satiating dish. Make it for breakfast on days you are craving something warm, soothing, and slightly sweet. Traditionally, the recipe doesn’t feature dal; the credit for that is due to the game of broken telephone as the recipe reached my mother, via a chain of four people from Goa to Mumbai. By the time we found out it wasn’t supposed to have lentils, we’d already developed a taste for this version. Now it’s a family favorite.
Fenugreek seeds can control blood sugar, improve hemoglobin levels, and are a galactagogue, making them a great addition to post-partum diets. Yellow lentils are a nutrient storehouse: rich in protein, fiber, folate, and potassium. And the carbs in rice are ready sources of energy.
Note: If fresh coconut is hard to come by, use 500 ml unsweetened organic coconut milk. Pressure-cook the rice, dal, and fenugreek in plain water and add the coconut milk towards the end of the recipe with jaggery.
- 3 cups (250 g) freshly grated coconut
- 3 cups of water for grinding
- 2 tsp (16 g) ambemohar rice, or any short-grain variety, soaked for an hour
- 2 tsp (16 g) yellow moong, soaked for an hour
- 1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds, soaked for 3-4 hours
- A pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp (20 g) jaggery or unrefined sugar
Step 1To make the coconut milk: In a mixer-grinder or a blender, blitz the grated coconut with 1 cup of water on medium speed for 30 seconds to a minute. Strain the contents through a cheesecloth or a fine sieve (a tea strainer works too). Press to squeeze out all the liquid into a jar or a bowl; this is your first flush. Add the leftover coconut pulp to the mixer jar with 1 cup of water and blitz again. Strain the second flush in the same jar. Give the leftover pulp one final round in the mixer with 1 cup of water. Strain the third flush in a separate jar or a bowl.
Step 2Drain the soaked rice, dal, and fenugreek, and add it to a pressure cooker with the thin and watery third flush coconut milk. Add a pinch of salt and water — just enough to ensure there’s enough liquid, about 2 inches above the lentil-rice mix in the pressure cooker. Seal the cooker and pressure-cook on medium-high heat. After the first whistle, turn the heat down and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes for the pressure cooker to cool down. Release the steam, if needed. You can also cook the rice and lentils in a saucepan, partially covered, until they are soft and mushy.
Step 3Open the lid, stir in the jaggery and the first and second flushes of the coconut milk. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to bring all the ingredients together. Stir occasionally and ensure the coconut milk doesn’t come to a boil (coconut milk can split and curdle when brought to a rolling boil). Turn off the heat once you have a thin gruel or kheer-like consistency. Serve warm. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to two days. Reheat to short of boiling for second helpings.
Zero waste: Save the leftover coconut pulp in an air-tight plastic container and use as needed in chutneys or add to stir-fries.
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