03 August, 2011

Methi nu Muthia: Healthy & Healing Snack

Methi nu Muthia

What comes to your mind immediately when you hear a word 'Snack'?

Whenever I hear the word 'snack', the little voice in my head often whispers high calorie, deep fried, crispy-crunchy munchies that aren’t too good for our waistline. We Indians are quite fond of our snacks. Every guest who visits us, including the unexpected guest at ungodly hours, is welcomed with a steel glass brimming with hot, strong coffee/tea and a plateful of snacks ranging from savouries to sweets. After all, we have been taught this golden verse "Atithi Devo Bhavah" in our childhood, which means treat your guests as god! Hungry or not, Atithi is expected to eat and sometimes even force fed to the point your stomach refuses to expand anymore and ready to burst!
Did you know? The verse is from the Taittiriya Upanishad, who says: "Matri devo bhavaḥ, Pitri devo bhavaḥ, Acharya devo bhavaḥ, Athiti devo bhavaḥ". It literally means “The Mother is God, the Father is God, the Teacher is God, [and] the guest is God."

Tithi in Sanskrit denotes a (calendrical) date. In ancient times, when means of communication were limited and it was not possible for guests to anticipate their date of arrival, "Atithi" (which literally means "without a fixed calendrical time") was coined to depict a visiting person who had no fixed date of arrival or departure. "Devah" (which, through sandhi or euphonic combination, becomes written/pronounced as "Devo" when followed by certain kinds of consonants) means God and “Bhavaḥ” means Be or Is - "The Guest is God"
(Source: wiki)

The context of 'snacking' is changing with time. Before, it was usually cooked with lot of love and attention to detail by a mother or aunts or grandmothers at home. Now, it is more of snacking on junk food available at fast food junctions or from road side vendors. There is nothing wrong in eating from fast food junctions or the ones sold by road side stalls. But it is equally important to understand when and where do you draw line and balance your diet!

We all love our deep fried and sugar loaded snacks, but at a same time do we equally love and show respect to healthy and high nutritional snacks??? Thankfully many of us do. And this trend of eating healthy and healthy lifestyle is actually encouraging us to dig into our heirloom recipes that are not just friendly on our waistlines, but also super nutritious for our body and an absolute treat for our taste buds. These are the recipes cooked by our grand mothers and great grandmothers for many generations. No wonder my grandma and the people of her generation glowed with health and looked so wonderful. And at the same time they lived a healthy life even in their seventies and eighties without falling ill regularly as we do in our generation!!!

Methi nu Muthia

With our lil dumpling showing much interest in what we eat and trying to grab things from our plates is pushing me towards trying to cook new recipes that use best ingredients. One such healthy choice is Methi nu Muthia, a Guajarati dish of steam cooked dumplings with a goodness of fresh fenugreek leaves. Fresh fenugreek leaves are mixed with whole wheat flour, gram flour, semolina and aromatic spices to form a dough and steam cooked to perfection. Now who wouldn’t love these cute, delicious dumplings bursting with flavour and nutrition? This recipe is so simple that you can make it in a jiffy and takes even less time compared to any deep fried snacks. Only time consuming bit is picking fenugreek leaves from its stems. But one bite into this Methi nu Muthia, all that time spent on picking the leaves feels so worth while when compared to the taste and health benefits of these amazing dumplings. So shall we proceed to make some delicious, highly nutritious and healthy Methi nu Muthia and let the healing herbs do their magic on your body and soul?

Methi nu Muthia: Before steam cooking

Methi nu Muthia: After steam cooking

Methi nu Muthia (A Guajarati dish of steam cooked dumplings with fenugreek leaves)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
Serves: 4-6 people
Recipe Level: Intermediate
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Shelf Life: 3-4 days when refrigerated and 2 weeks when frozen
Recipe Inspiration: The Complete Guajarati Cookbook by Tarla Dalal
Serving Suggestion: As a breakfast or snack with Green Chutney or Tomato Sauce/Ketchup

1 bunch fresh Methi/Fenugreek Leaves, picked, cleaned and chopped (approx 2½ packed cups)
4-5 tbsp Atta/Wheat Flour
2 tbsp Gram Flour
2 tbsp Rava/Semolina
2 Green Chillies, crushed to paste or very finely chopped
1 tsp Garlic, crushed to paste or very finely chopped
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp Baking Powder
½ -1 tsp Pepper Powder
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Oil + some for greasing your palm and pan frying the Muthia
Salt to taste
For Tadka/Tempering:
2 tsp Til/White Sesame Seeds
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
½ tbsp Oil

Methi nu Muthia

Chop the fenugreek leaves and place it in a colander. Add a tsp of salt to it and keep it aside for 5 minutes. Then squeeze the bitter juice from these leaves using your hands and discard this bitter juice.
Take these methi leaves and to this add all the ingredients listed above. Knead it into soft dough by adding very little water at time. The consistency of the dough should be little softer and wetter compared to chapatti dough. The amount of water required to make this dough is very little. So be cautious while adding the water.
Divide the dough into 5-6 equal portions. Now grease your palms with little oil and start shaping each portion to barrels of about 1 inch diameter.
You can make small barrels/sausage shapes and place them in Idli stand or simply use container for steaming the vegetables. Make sure that there is at least 1 inch gap between each barrels of dough as they expand while steaming.
Steam cook them in a pressure cooker (without its weight) or Idli maker or any steamer for about 20 minutes. Cut these steam cooked Methi nu Muthia into 1 inch pieces and serve warm or proceed to next step.
Heat about a tsp of oil in a tawa/griddle and placed the cut Methi nu Muthia in single layer. Cook for a minute till the side starts to crisp up and turn light golden. Turn them on the other side and cook for another minute. Transfer the pan fried Methi nu Muthia to the serving bowl.
Heat oil in a pan and add white sesame seeds and hing. Just when sesame seeds starts to sizzle and turn light golden in colour, transfer the tempering to pan fried Methi nu Muthias and mix them well. Serve these healthy and delicious Methi nu Muthia warm as it is or with green chutney/tomato sauce and a cup of coffee or tea and let the healing herbs do their magic on your body and soul!

Methi nu Muthia

Sia’s Notes:
  • The amount of water required to make this dough is very little. So be cautious while adding the water.
  • If you are not counting the calories, simply deep fry the muthias once steamed and serve.
  • You can also skip pan frying the muthias and serve immediately after they have been steam cooked.


  1. Healthy & delicious snack!!!! Muthias are my fav!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  2. very healthy one!!yummy!nice click!

  3. I have been looking for this recipe for a while. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  4. Delicious looking healthy recipe...

  5. I absolutely have to try these out :)

  6. this looks amazing, especially love the before steaming-after steaming looks! i have heard of this a lot but never tried. its not super easy to get fresh fenugreek leaves here though...

  7. Lovely snack! BTW, is so little flour enough?

  8. This is a really nice snack Sia!Whenever I want to cook something with Methi I feel a bit apprehensive about the slightly bitter taste it has.But maybe I follow your method ditto and see if mine turn ou as well as yours:)


  9. Thank you all :)

    @Nags, u can use kasuri methi in place of fresh methi leaves and follow the recipe. just 2 tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves should do the trick.

    @Sum, surprisingly that much flour is enough to satisfy 4 happy people :) Even i was not sure when i followed the recipe but due to steaming, just like idli, the muthias expands almost double in size.

    @Wit, wok and wisdom, I usually like little bitter taste in methi leaves. but this time i made it for my lil one so i didn't want muthias to taste bitter for me. if u don't like the bitter taste them simply follow the recipe and u wont find any lingering bitter taste when u bite into it :)

  10. I made something like this long back with Dill leaves, with Methi leaves it must have tasted great!, as I love the smell of methi leaves, I have it my draft have to search for it :), but my photos are stupid, not soooo good as yours!

  11. This is absolutely yummy snack with tea..

  12. Hi Sia,

    I have just prepared Palak-methi na muthia and have not added soda to the dough. Is it actually necessary or can i omit????Actually the dish was great but the look is not like your muthia from inside, i mean the texture. Please clarify. If it is a must i will add and then put up the recipe.

  13. Delicious snack and an bonus point - its healthy too and it needs very little flour. Awesome is the word and I am going to try it this weekend.

  14. methi very healthy. smell is good, but this one healthy too. sure i will try.

  15. @Dry-groundnuts, yes. Soda is a must if u want lighter texture as unlike idli or dosa, u don't use the method of fermentation sin preparing muthias.

  16. tempting snack
    1st time here wonderful space do visit mu site

  17. My husband love methi leaves and this snack is one of our fav. we buy it from an indian store and the last few weeks they were no longer seen. Looking at this recipe out here .. u have no idea how excited I am to try this :)

  18. Hi Sia,
    I tried this out and was v.v.nice.I've tried many recipes from this site,but never stopped by to tell u how nice everything came out.sorry ...
    Thanks for posting such easy,healthy ,tasty...recipes.

  19. @Repakula, Glad you enjoyed it :) thank you for taking time and letting me know!

  20. hi can we use frozen methi to do this ?

  21. @Repakula, you can but it will not taste as good as the one made using fresh methi leaves. Keep few things in mind when using frozen leaves such as thaw them completely and remove excess water by pressing them. Hope it helps.


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