From Dr. Sheil Shukla’s beautiful book, Plant-Based India, comes this delectable preparation of potatoes with fenugreek (Methi Batākā Nu Shāk). Even if you have little experience with preparing traditional Indian cuisine, you’ll find this one easy and authentic.
Dr. Shukla writes, “This preparation of potatoes with methi (fenugreek leaves) comes from my mother-in-law. The aromatic and slightly bitter methi pairs perfectly with the spiced potatoes and crunchy cashews. If you can’t find methi, feel free to substitute cilantro or even spinach.”
Recipe is from Plant-Based India: Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition by Dr. Sheil Shukla © 2022. Reprinted by permission of The Experiment.
Dr. Sheil Shukla is an internal medicine physician and food artist who is passionate about the intersection of food, art, and medicine. He loves exploring cultures through their food, and his primary experience is with South Asian foods. His recipes and photographs have garnered the support of over 59,000 followers on Instagram (@plantbasedartist). He is also a contributor for Best of Vegan and has been featured by VegNews, Thrive Magazine, The FeedFeed, Food52, Williams-Sonoma, and more. He lives in Chicagoland with his wife, Rachel, and son, Shrey.
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as sunflower
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1½ teaspoons), optional
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- Pinch of asafetida, optional
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled if desired and cut into ¾-inch chunks
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ½ cup fresh methi (fenugreek leaves), roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground red chili, to taste
- ¼ cup roasted cashews
- Fresh lime juice, to taste
- Heat the oil in a wok or wide pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and heat until the mustard seeds begin to spatter, about 30 seconds.
- Add the garlic (if using), ginger, and asafetida (if using), and continue to cook until fragrant, a few seconds longer.
- Add the potatoes and salt, lower the heat slightly, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes start to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Pour in 1 cup water, cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 8 minutes.
- Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Add the methi, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red chili, and stir until the methi has cooked down slightly and most of the water has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes.
- To serve, stir in the roasted cashews, adjust the salt to taste, and squeeze on the lime juice to taste.
More about Plant-Based India
Physician and @plantbasedartist creator Dr. Sheil Shukla celebrates the flavors and health benefits of plant-based Indian cuisine in his debut cookbook, Plant-Based India (The Experiment; August 2, 2022; Hardcover; $30.00; ISBN: 978-1-61519-853-5). Sheil developed and photographed more than 100 vegan recipes for his go-to dishes and includes chapters on shāk (spiced vegetable dishes), dāl (legume stews), rotli (flatbreads), bhāt (rice dishes), and more.
As a first-generation Indian American growing up in Milwaukee, Sheil grew up eating the traditional Gujarāti dishes that his mother and beloved bā (grandmother) prepared for the family.
Growing up, though, he and his brother preferred the American fare that their school friends were eating. It wasn’t until college that Sheil realized how much he loved and missed the Indian flavors he grew up eating but that the nutritional and environmental benefits of eating a plant-based diet were too good to resist.
He began learning by his grandmother’s side and soon expanded his culinary studies through other family members’ recipes. Always a lover of fine arts, Sheil began photographing his culinary pursuits. He launched his website and Instagram account @plantbasedartist in 2015, and his recipes and photos developed quite a fan base.
Plant-Based India is chock-full of recipes with Sheil’s signature twists along with faithful recreations of his grandmother’s cooking. His goal is always to pack as much flavor and nutrition as possible into each dish.
From a comforting Pālak Tofu that transcends dairy-based paneer to vegan Nān, festive Navratan Rice, hearty Dāl Makhani, and summery Chocolate Chāi Mousse with Berries, these are recipes from Sheil’s heart—filled with nourishing ingredients at their seasonal best.
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