Methi Matar Malai is a delicious vegan curry. This mild and creamy Fenugreek/methi leaves recipe is cooked in a dairy-free cashew nuts sour cream to make it even more palatable!
Try this restaurant-style meal at home and surprise your loved ones with this classic Indian curry. It can be made in just 30 minutes!
Make this Restaurant-style dish at home
One of the things I like to do when cooking is to recreate restaurant-style dishes in the comfort of my kitchen!
That's why I decided to make a vegan version of this classic Indian dish.
Why I love this curry
It is known for its combination of a mildly sweet, spicy, and slightly bitter taste.
Made with a beautiful and colorful combination of methi or fenugreek leaves, green peas, and cream, this vegan curry is not just a visually appetizing dish but also an extremely delicious one.
- It is a flavorful and creamy restaurant style curry
- It's mildly flavored
- Vegan and gluten-free
- Ready in under 30 minutes
This underrated green leafy vegetable
Fenugreek or methi is used in Central (Turkish & Egyptian) & Asian cuisine. In the US though, I really haven't seen this being used in any cuisine.
In India, we use this plant in many forms. The leaves of this plant have a slightly bitter taste if consumed raw.
But don't let that deter you. It is rich in iron and vitamin K and lends a delicious taste to any dish it's added to.
Fenugreek leaves are more widely used as compared to their seeds primarily due to the immense nutritional benefits.
These leaves when dried are called Kasuri Methi which is used in many Indian preparations.
Crushing these dried leaves before adding them to any dish releases the real flavor of it.
The three main ingredients here are fenugreek leaves, green peas, and cream.
Fresh fenugreek leaves or methi is preferred in this recipe. However, you may use frozen or Kasuri methi.
This green leafy vegetable can be found in any Indian grocery store.
Clean and wash these leaves thoroughly a couple of times as it contains lots of mud and dirt.
Remove the leaves from the stems, carefully. This could be a tedious job but it is totally worth the effort.
Green peas or Matar give this dish a crunch and a balance of flavor - evening out the spicy and bitter flavors with their natural sweetness.
You can use fresh or frozen peas.
Malai is cream. Since this is a vegan recipe, we are making cashew nuts sour cream instead.
Here's how to make it
1 - Add cashews along with water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for 5 minutes.
Drain the water and allow it to cool.
Then blitz it in a blender to make a smooth and creamy pure.
2 - The first step is to blanch the methi.
Bring water to a boil and then add methi leaves to it. Submerge the leaves fully in water and let it boil for 2 minutes.
Do not overcook these leaves as they will lose their color. Transfer the leaves to a bowl of cold water immediately.
Chop them roughly and keep it aside for now. You still want the texture of the Methi, so roughly chopped is the way to go.
3 - Prepare a smooth paste of onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies in a blender.
Keep this aside for now.
4 - Heat oil in a pan, temper cumin seeds, then add the bay leaf and the ground paste (from step 3) to the pan.
Cook it for 2-3 minutes or till the raw smell of onion and garlic goes away.
Then add roasted gram flour/besan/chickpea flour to the pan and mix. This helps to bind the gravy together.
5 - To this add the cashew puree. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes and then add water.
Mix using a whisk till the water blends well with the mixture and you get a rich and creamy gravy.
6 - Then add garam masala, salt, and sugar to the mix and give it a stir.
7 - Now add the green peas and cook it for a minute or two.
8 - Lastly, add the chopped methi leaves to the pan.
Mix it all together with the gravy and continue to cook for another minute or two.
Take it off the flame.
Serve this fenugreek leaves curry warm with any Indian bread (naan, roti, chapati) or steamed rice.
Alternatively, you can also serve this vegan curry with cauliflower rice, or alternate grains like quinoa.
Serve for a weekend brunch, family dinners, or even packed in lunch boxes if you are in the mood to indulge.
Top tips, recommendations, and suggestions
If you don't want to blanch the leaves, you can also sprinkle some salt over it and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
Then squeeze out all the water from methi using your hand.
This trick helps to get rid of the bitterness of the methi. Then roughly chop the leaves and use.
The spice level can be adjusted based on the number of green chillies used.
During the tempering in step 4, you can optionally add 2 teaspoon of poppy seeds (Khus Khus) to enhance the flavor and texture
You can also use blanched almonds with melon seeds to make the cream.
Paneer/Tofu cubes can also be added to this gravy.
Sweet corn or baby potatoes can be used instead of green peas.
Not vegan? Add fresh cream instead of the cashew cream.
Use Makhana cream, half and half, or evaporated milk as a low-fat substitute for cream.
You can prepare this in advance. It stays well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze this? Yes, this dish can be frozen for 2-3 months.
Some methi recipes
If you’ve tried this Methi Matar Malai Recipe or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how it goes by commenting below, I love hearing from you!
Methi Matar Malai - Vegan Version
- ½ cup cashews
- 10 oz methi leaves
To make paste
- 1 large onion
- 1 inch ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 green chilies
Prep for the curry
- Add cashews to a bowl of hot water and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Drain the water, allow it to cool and then add them to a blender to make a smooth and creamy puree.
- Roast chickpea flour in a hot pan for 30-45 seconds. Be careful to not burn it. It should not change color. Transfer to a bowl and keep it aside.
- Bring water to a boil and then add methi leaves to it. Submerge the leaves fully in water and let it boil for 2 minutes.
- Do not overcook these leaves as it will lose its color. Transfer the leaves to a bowl of cold water immediately.
- Chop them roughly and keep it aside for now.
To make paste
- Prepare a smooth paste of onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies in a blender.
- Keep this aside for now.
To prepare the curry
- Heat oil in a pan, temper cumin seeds, then add the bay leaf and the ground onion paste to the pan.
- Cook it for 2-3 minutes or till the raw smell of onion and garlic goes away.
- Then add roasted gram flour/besan/chickpea flour to the pan and mix. This helps to bind the gravy together.
- To this add the cashew puree. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes and then add water.
- Mix using a whisk till the water blends well with the mixture.
- Then add garam masala, salt, and sugar to the mix and give it a stir. Add water and stir it together.
- Now add the green peas and cook it for a minute or two.
- Lastly, add the chopped methi leaves to the pan.
- Mix it all together with the gravy and continue to cook for another minute or two.
- Take it off the flame.
- Serve this fenugreek leaves curry warm with any Indian bread (naan, roti, chapati) or steamed rice.
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