Serves: 3 to 4 people
Methi leaves/menthikura - 5 small bunches
Coriander - A handful (optional)
Tamarind - size of a small lemon
Fresh Red Chillies - 4
Rock Salt - As needed
Sesame Oil - for tempering
For tempering: [to be deep fried]
Urad Dal - 2 tablespoons
Mustard - 2 teaspoons
Dry Red Chilli - 2 Nos
Hing - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - As needed
Garlic - 5 pods
Wash the Methi leaves thoroughly two to three times. Remove sand and other dirt. If stems are tender you can add few to chutney. Else remove the stems and use only leaves.
Dry the leaves on a fresh towel under the fan so that all the moisture in the leaves gets absorbed by the cloth. Heat up oil in kadai. Add Urad dal and fry till it becomes golden brown. Then add mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves, garlic pods, hing and dry red chillies. Once the are well roasted add deseeded tamarind and fry for one min.
Remove this tempering from pan and grind it coarsely in the mixer
Again heat up the oil and add fresh methi leaves and coriander. Here we add coriander to cut down the bitter taste of methi. It is optional if you can savour that methi taste. Fry till they lose their raw smell. The chutney should be dry. So do not add water while frying the leaves.
Add the fried methi leaves, rock salt to the coarsely ground mixture. I used pink rock salt. Any rock salt gives a better taste. Make sure not to add too much salt at a time.
Use the whip mode in mixer or a mortar and pestle to grind it to thick chutney consistency. It should not become soft paste. Make sure to retain the texture of leaves and bit of that crunchy tempering.
Do not grind leaves and tempering altogether. First make a paste of tempering and then add leaves.
Add raw cold pressed sesame oil on top of chutney for that extra flavour. Serve it with hot rice.