Garlic-fenugreek gravy with absolutely anything

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This is a Sindhi gravy that you can throw anything into, and make a wonderful meal, sort of like this gravy. And it is so simple to do, that you will be left wondering if you left out any steps. You didn’t!

Greenish in color from the fresh herbs, it also has the wonderful warm aroma of garlic. The herbs and the garlic together make an intense and unfamiliar aroma that most people are intrigued by.

As for what to put in it — some common Sindhi preparations use okra, or King mackarel fish, or zucchini; I have made a successful combination of paneer and peas in this gravy or potatoes and peas. You also have your choice about how wet or dry to make the result; and whether to have it with roti as a side, or over plain white rice. But use your imagination and let’s get started.

Thoom-methi gravy with potatoes and peas

Ingredients:

  • Half a large red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 – 4 largish cloves garlic
  • 3 (or to taste) fresh chilies, jalapeno, serrano, bird’s eye or cayenne
  • half a bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dry fenugreek or half a cup fresh if you can find it
  • One large tomato
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • half teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of chopped vegetables: I used 3 cubed red potatoes and half a cup of peas.
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons oil

Method:

Combine in a blender the following roughly chopped vegetables, with about a quarter cup of water: onion, garlic, cilantro, fenugreek and chilies. Blend to a paste consistency, as shown below.

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Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pot and when it shimmers, put in the paste and cook it on medium-high. In about ten minutes it will dry up and start to darken; keep stirring it once in a while. When it goes from looking like this:

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to looking like this:

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put in the chopped tomatoes. The tomatoes will first liquefy and then turn pasty and combine nicely with the rest of the spice. Stir for about 5 minutes; when they are more or less dry, put in the coriander and turmeric powders and stir. Now put in about a cup or cup and a half of water, bring to a boil.

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Now the gravy is ready, and it is time to put in whatever chopped vegetables you want. I put in cubed potatoes, and simmered them with the lid on for 15 minutes to cook; then I put in the frozen peas and only cooked them enough to heat through.

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Oh — I added the salt along with the vegetables so that they absorb the salinity properly.

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