Mamta's Kitchen

Fenugreek Seed Khitchri Or Pulao/Pilaf Rice

Methis Dana Khitchri Or Pulao

Vinodini Rastogi

Note from Mamta: This delicious and healthy recipe comes from my sister in-law’s mum, who was an exceptional cook. She is now 91 years old. She dictated this recipe to me a couple of weeks ago (October 2011). I have given her simpler version here. If you want to make it even nicer flavoured, add fried onions and 1 tablespoon of dry fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi), as given under ‘optional’. Serves 2.

Methi or Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L) seeds are used in a lot of Ayurvedic preparations in India for their medicinal values. They contains protein, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron, are antipyretic, anthelmintic, appetizer, and diuretic. Methi is recommended in any form, whole seeds, powdered seeds or leaves, for type 2 diabetes, probably because it has some plant insulin and helps to reduce blood sugar; 1 teaspoonful of ground seeds should be taken daily on empty stomach, stirred in a glass of warm water. My mum takes 1 teaspoon of a mix which contains equal amounts of ground methi seeds, turmeric and ginger. This helps her with joint aches and pains and chest conditions, she swears by it. Ground methi seeds, mixed with yoghurt/dahi, make a good hair conditioner. In India, methi is sometimes given new mothers to improve lactation. Sprouted methi seeds are delicious in salads.


  • 1 cup Rice, basmati is best, but other long grain rice is also fine

  • 1/2 cup fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tbsp. oil

  • 2-3 dry red chillies

  • Salt to taste.

  • Optional for extra flavour

  • 1 tbsp. dry methi leaves, soaked in 2 tbsp. water

  • 1 medium sized onion (a bit more or less will be fine)

  • 2 tbsp. oil


  1. Clean, wash and soak fenugreek seeds for a couple of hours.

  2. Just before cooking, wash and drain rice.

  3. Drain fenugreek seeds, saving the water from soaking.

  4. Heat oil in a pan and add red chillies and salt.

  5. After a few seconds, add fenugreek seeds and rice. Stir fry for 30 seconds or so.

  6. Add the saved water from step 3 and some more water, a total of 2 1/2 cups.

  7. Bring to boil and then turn the heat down. Cover and cook on low heat until all water is absorbed and each rice grain is separate.

  8. Serve hot with yoghurt, a pickle of choice and roasted/grilled papads/popodoms.

  9. Optional, for extra flavour

  10. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a separate pan.

  11. Fry sliced onions until onions are nicely browned, dark in colour, rather than golden.

  12. Add soaked methi leaves and stir them in.

  13. Stir them into the cooked rice. Close lid and let flavours infuse.

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