Methi Daal (Fenugreek and red lentils)

For this recipe you will either already be used to and enjoy eating  cooked bitter sweet fenugreek leaves or you will need to acquire a taste for it. Bear in mind that the very strong distinctive aroma of fenugreek will remain with you for 24 hours!

It’s made very frequently and with much aplomb in our Sheikh biradari (wider family) homes in Kenya, USA, UK and of course Pakistan.  It originated in Narowal/Lahore in the ‘poor’ times, when people did not have the means to buy and cook all types of meat or fish and had to resort to use fresh grown produce from the fields to feed their families.  The trick and the beauty of this dish is to keep the lentils al dente, serve with lashings of butter and plain yoghurt! My mouth is watering at the thought of placing a little of the cooked methi daal on top of a freshly buttered  chapatti (roti), and then eating it sparingly and slowly in order to savour and enjoy the flavours.


  • 4 tbs cooking oil
  • 8 medium sized cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 2 bunches of fresh fenugreek
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • half tsp turmeric
  • 4 thin and small fresh green chillies cut into two
  • half cup split red lentils soaked for 10 mins
  • butter (as you desire)
  • yoghurt (as required)


  1. Put the oil in a non-stick pan/frying pan, add the garlic slices, gently fry on low heat until they change colour to light brown, add the fenugreek (methi) and fresh coriander, add the salt, turmeric and green chillies.
  2. Turn onto a low heat and cook covered without adding water and stirring from time to time for 20 minutes or until fenugreek is soft and cooked but not mushy.
  3. Add the red lentils, mix in once and cook covered on a very low heat for another 7 – 8 minutes, checking that the lentils remain al dente.for web methi whole pan
  4. Make fresh chappatis if possible, or use shop bought, place the hot roti onto a flat plate, thinly spread butter over whole roti, place a dollop of the cooked methi daal onto the roti, add a teaspoon of butter onto the methi, add a dollop of plain yoghurt next to it. (Skip the butter for a healthy option.)for web roti close up
  5. Break roti, take a teaspoon of the methi daal mixture and enjoy in small portions!


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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