Methi rice or methi pulao is healthy and delicious pulao made using fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves, basmati rice, vegetables, herbs, and spices. This vegan recipe is gluten-free and hearty.
This nutritious one-pot meal can be served with any Indian curry. To make the bitterness of methi a bit milder, you can add carrots and peas to your pulao. The methi pulao features a lovely aroma of the spices and the bitter fragrance of the methi leaves.
Our most preferred vegetables are potatoes, broccoli, capsicum, cauliflower, baby corn, eggplant (brinjal), and zucchini (Cucurbita pepo or courgette). You can always add veggies that you like or just skip over.
Adding seasonal vegetables not only makes the fenugreek pulao nutritious but also flavorful and wholesome.
While the recipe over here is for methi pulao, you can replace it with other options like spinach if you don’t like methi.
Tips to eliminate bitterness from methi
Sometimes, methi leaves taste intensely bitter. Here are some simple tips that you can consider to eliminate bitterness from fenugreek leaves.
Sprinkle some salt on the stocks of methi leaves, and mix it well. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes (Salt extracts bitterness). Now, rinse the leaves in freshwater.
Another way is to blanch the methi leaves in hot, salted water for 1 to 2 minutes. Once done, rinse and drain the leaves for further use.
A step-by-step guide to making methi pulao
- Take 1 cup or 200 grams of basmati rice and rinse it thoroughly in water. Once rinsed, soak the rice in enough water for about thirty minutes.
- Once the rice is soaked, drain the water and set it aside.
- Meanwhile, chop the fenugreek leaves and other vegetables. You need to have 1 cup of chopped vegetables and 2 cups of methi leaves.
Also, crush 3-4 medium-sized garlic, 1 ginger, and 2-3 green chillies. You can grind these ingredients in a small chutney grinder.
- Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a pan or pressure cooker. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 3-4 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon, and 1-2 strands of mace (it’s optional). Sauté the spices for a few seconds till fragrant.
- Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Now, add the crushed ginger, garlic, and chilli paste. Stir and sauté the mix for a few seconds until it is cooked and the natural fragrance goes away.
- Once done, add the finely chopped fenugreek leaves.
- Stir the methi leaves for 3 to 4 minutes on low-medium heat.
- After that, add 3/4 cups of chopped mixed veggies. Stir well. You can also add vegetables of your choice such as cauliflower, potatoes, corn kernels, cauliflowers, broccoli, capsicum, carrots, French beans, brinjal, zucchini, and more.
- Add 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of coriander powder, and 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder. Mix the ingredients well.
Making methi rice
- Add soaked rice to the mix and sauté for a minute.
- Pour two cups of water. You can also use a pan or pot to make methi pulao. Just add 2 to 2.5 cups of water if you use a pan or pot.
- Add salt as per taste and stir again.
- Pressure cook the rice on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 whistles. Or, cook it for 8 to 9 minutes. When the pressure cooker cools down on its own, remove the lid and gently fluff the methi rice using a fork.
If you want to add tofu or paneer to the rice, fry them lightly and add them to the methi rice. Or you can garnish them while serving.
- Your delicious methi pulao is ready!
Dal — You can serve the palatable methi pulao with simple dal fry or dal tadka for a flavorsome treat.
Raita — Even plain curd or raita is excellent to be served with methi rice. Methi pulao combines nicely with raita like boondi raita, cucumber raita, onion raita, or onion-tomato raita.
Lunch box — Methi pulao also makes a perfect dish for lunch. When you pack it in a lunch box, add salads or mango lemon pickles for added taste.
We would not recommend you make methi pulao in large quantities and then freeze it. Instead, cooked rice can be enjoyed fresh on the same day.
If you have leftover methi pulao, refrigerate it only for a day and heat it before serving.
Helpful Expert Tips
Variations you can make
Vegetables — Mixed veggies enhance the taste of the pulao and boost the nutritional value. The vegetables that would be a great addition to the methi pulao are — capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, corn, button mushroom, cabbage, green peas, and carrots.
Rice — short-grained rice or brown rice is great for making methi pulao. You can also use long-grained basmati rice.
Protein — To make your pulao flavorful and rich, you can add paneer or tofu. Then, all you have to do is lightly pan fry them and mix methi pulao before serving. Canned chickpeas or cooked chickpeas also work great for that purpose.
Spices — It depends on whether you want to make spicy or non-spicy methi pulao. You can simply skip the ground spices and chillies for a mild taste.
Whole spices — It's not necessary that everyone may have all the spices stored in their pantry. This methi pulao recipe is highly customizable; you can add whichever spices you have available at home.
Methi pulao in an instant pot
- Take your instant pot and set the sauté button on normal mode. Add oil to the pot. And when it becomes hot, add spices and fry them until crackling. Make sure you don’t burn them.
- Add thinly sliced onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Now add the crushed ginger, garlic, and green chilli paste. Mix it for a few seconds, and the raw aroma of the paste goes away.
- Toss in the finely chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Toss in the chopped mixed veggies along with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder.
- Mix everything properly.
- Now, add soaked basmati rice. Mix it gently and sauté it for a minute.
- Add 1 cup of water, add salt, and pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- After five minutes, release the pressure. Open the lid and pluff the rice using a fork.
- Serve your delicious methi pulao!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Diet: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Ingredients you need
- 1 cup basmati rice (200 grams basmati rice)
- 2 cups finely chopped methi leaves (80 grams of methi leaves)
- 1 medium or large onion (sliced)
- 1 cup chopped mixed veggies (any vegetables of your choice)
- 3 to 4 garlic + 1 inch ginger + 2- 3 green chilies (crushed to a paste)
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil
- 2 cups water
- Salt to your taste
Whole spices you need
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1-inch cinnamon
- 1 black cardamom
- 3 to 4 cloves
- 1 or 2 single strands of mace or javitri (optional)
- Rinse the rice thoroughly in freshwater.
- Then soak it in enough water for about 30 minutes. After that, drain all the water and set the rice aside.
- Meanwhile, the rice is soaking, clean the vegetables and chop them.
- Use a mortar pestle or grinder to crush the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker and fry the spices until fragrant.
- Add thinly sliced onions; stir until the color is golden brown.
- Add ginger, garlic, chilli paste, and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add finely chopped methi leaves and cook on low to medium heat.
- Now add chopped vegetables and sate for a few minutes
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, and chilli powder.
- Mix well. After that, add the soaked rice and sauté for a minute.
- Add required water, season with salt, and cover the lid for 2 whistles.
- Turn off the heat, and let the pressure release.
- Fluff the rice using a fork and serve methi pulao hot with your choice of raita, plain curd, or Indian classic curry!