You can add the main ingredient/s of your choice to this curry house style methi sauce.
Perhaps not the most ordered of the famous curry house curries but methi curries are still loved by many. This methi sauce will get you the results you’re looking for.
There are a few things you need to know about cooking with fresh methi and I’ll explain it all here.
Methi sauce is made with fresh methi or fenugreek leaves. Some people find fenugreek too bitter. I happen to love the bitterness of this ingredient.
To ensure your methi curry isn’t too bitter, you will need to prep those fresh methi leaves.
How to get the bitterness out.
Get a small bunch of methi leaves and place them on a clean chopping board.
Chop the leaves and small stems finely and place in a bowl. Top with about 1/2 tsp fine sea salt and mix well with your hands.
Leave this for about 30 minutes. Longer is fine too if that is more convenient.
The salt will release moisture from the methi leaves. Squeeze them, as shown in the video on this page and all that bitterness will come out with the moisture.
Are there any substitutes for fresh methi leaves?
Yes and no is the answer. Fresh methi can be difficult to come by but it is available at most Asian shops. If you are in the UK like I am, it also grows well in our climate.
If you can’t get the required fresh methi for this methi sauce you can cheat.
Sometimes I use fresh spinach leaves and then add dried methi, which is a lot easier to find to the spinach. The flavour is really similar.
You could also use fenugreek powder but that is much stronger than the leaves. You will want to add it sparingly and to taste.
As with most curries, this methi sauce can be prepared ahead of time either with the main ingredient already added or on it’s own.
All you need to do then is heat your methi sauce up and either serve or add the main ingredient of your choice and serve.
If you are planning on freezing your methi sauce, that works well too.
Just don’t add the yoghurt before freezing. That is better added when you heat it up, just before serving.
The base sauce and other pre-cooked ingredients.
Curry house style curries are made with a base sauce and usually with pre-cooked main ingredients.
The reason for this is both speed and flavour. The base sauce (or gravy) speeds up the cooking process and also gives you that smooth texture that is so popular with British Indian restaurant (BIR) style curries.
Other main ingredients can be added too. Paneer can be added raw but it is even better done this way. Raw prawns could also be added to cook in the sauce though I like to add tandoori prawns for flavour reasons.
If you like this methi sauce recipe, you might like to try some of these curry house favourites too…
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 bunch fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 star anise
- 1 Indian bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 onion - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp mixed powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree
- 300ml (1 1/4 cups) base curry sauce
- 2 tbsp plain natural yoghurt
- 1 tbsp coriander (cilantro) - finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp dried methi leaves
- Salt to taste
- See how to get the bitterness out of your fresh methi in the instructions and video above.
- When ready to cook, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the star anise, bay leaf, coriander seeds and fennel seeds and infuse these into the oil for about 30 seconds.
- Now add the chopped onion and fry until soft and translucent. This should take 3 - 5 minutes.
- Stir in the mixed powder and chilli powder and then add the tomato puree. Bring this to a simmer and then add half of the base sauce.
- Bring this to a rolling simmer.
- This is a good time to add your main ingredient of choice or you could just make the sauce and add your main ingredient later when you heat it up to serve.
- Add the fresh methi and the remainder of the base sauce
- Stir in the yoghurt, one tablespoon at a time. Don't add it all at once or it could curdle.
- To finish, add the chopped coriander (cilantro) and garam masala. Then add the dried methi by rubbing it between your fingers over the sauce.
- If you prefer a creamier sauce, you could add more yoghurt or just top the sauce with some plain natural yoghurt.