Winter is the time for a variety of fresh leafy vegetables in India which are a great way to build good health and strengthen immunity. Out of all the leafy vegetables available, methi is most beneficial. Some people love it for its typical aroma and slightly bitter taste which makes it a unique vegetable. Flavourful fragrant methi leaves are used in Indian households for various delectable dishes which are loved by all.
Though methi leaves are consumed generously in winters, they are used in dried form and seeds throughout the year, to enhance the taste and aroma of our foods. Apart from the taste, methi leaves are also known to reduce cholesterol, control diabetes and blood pressure, detoxify blood, reduce hair fall, and treat anaemia. It’s also beneficial for weight loss. It is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals loke folic acid, riboflavin, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, Vitamin A, B6, C and K. Methi is also high in soluble fibre. It is also a rich source of antioxidants which can prevent cell damage by free radicals and thus, inflammatory conditions, infections and cancer.
Due to its therapeutic value, they are even sold as nutritional supplement to treat or prevent multiple diseases. Health benefits of methi leaves –
Prevents bowel problems
Methi leaves help in dyspepsia and poor functioning of the liver. It is a great source of soluble fibre and excellent for digestion.
High cholesterol levels can lead to atherosclerosis which is a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of fatty material on their inner walls. Daily consumption of methi leaves can help in maintaining cholesterol levels by reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. Methi is a great source of saponins which help reduce cholesterol.
Beneficial for diabetes and obesity
Methi supports healthy glucose metabolism thereby helping in diabetes prevention and weight management. The galactomannan present in methi may help in excreting the sugars from the body before they are absorbed in the blood. Methi might help in improving the insulin resistance.
Reduces heart problems
Methi contains galactomannan which plays a key role in maintaining your heart health. It also contains a high amount of potassium that blunts the effect of sodium to help control heart rate and blood pressure.
Skin and hair health benefits
Methi is rich in vitamin C. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids in methi prevent follicle inflammation thereby preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth. Applying methi paste with coconut milk on scalp prevents hair loss and pre-mature greying. It also makes hair shiny and strong. Methi paste with small amount of vinegar when applied to scalp can prevent dandruff. A face pack made using fenugreek leaves paste mixed with turmeric powder prevents acne and blackheads. Methi pack also helps in getting rid of blemishes
Helps in reducing fever
Herbal tea made with methi leaves is a great way of bringing the temperature down in case of high fever.
Helpful to breast feeding mothers
Methi is known to improve milk flow in breastfeeding mothers. Both leaves and seeds can be used. Methi laddoos are often prepared for women after childbirth in India.
Helps in arthritis
Methi helps in relieving arthritis aches and pains as it inhibits oedema by lowering the activity of inflammatory enzymes.
Methi in cancer
A compound protodioscin present in methi could show anticancer properties by acting against cancer cells
Various dishes where methi leaves can be incorporated are methi parantha, aloo methi, methi poori, methi chicken, methi paneer, methi theplas, methi pakodas, methi malai matar, methi daal, methi saag and many more. Methi paranthas can be easily prepared by chopping washed methi leaves and kneading them with atta for preparing dough or they can be chopped and stuffed after rolling dough balls as done in aloo parantha. Adding a little bit of ajawain, salt and amchoor greatly enhances the taste of paranthas. Methi theplas and khakhra area popular Gujarati snacks. Methi added to regular chana daal or moong daal tastes amazing with some ghee tadka. A healthier low-fat version of methi malai matar can be prepared by using hung curd instead of cream or malai. Methi paneer can be easily prepared by replacing palak with methi in palak paneer recipe. Methi leaves greatly enhance the taste of regular dishes like Panjabi kadhi, Rajasthani gatta curry, mixed vegetable and vegetable pulao. In non-vegetarian foods too methi leaves can be easily incorporated like methi maas, keema methi, methi macchhi, methi chicken, methi anda bhurji. Methi leaves can be added in salads and soups for an amazing taste with health.
Since we get a lot of methi in winters which is cheap too, it’s a good idea to dry some methi leaves for use in summers. Dried methi leaves called kasoori methi can also be used in almost all Indian food recipes through out the year. Follow these simple steps to make kasoori methi at home :
Apart from leaves there are various dishes where methi seeds are used in tadka. Methi laddoos in winters are great for aches and pains. Methi seeds can be sprouted to prepare a wonderful healthy and yummy salad.