I go crazy seeing the fresh methi leaves on shelves in supermarkets here and pick up as many bunches as I can [Keeping in mind the time I have and will need to clean them]. Methi leaves being iron rich, I use them frequently in my cooking and have used them in preparing muthiyas, aloo methi, methi mutter malai, parathas, etc. I was looking for a new recipe to consume these leaves and my search came to halt when I came across Tarla Dalal's sambhar recipe that includes these leaves. I liked the idea of using them in sambhar, could imagine the distinct beautiful aroma as well as yummy taste these leaves would give to the sambhar.
I peeped into the fridge to check for other veggies that could be included in the preparation and all I had was cherry tomatoes and carrots. [You can use the available veggies with you to prepare this sambhar besides methi leaves] I followed my usual sambhar recipe using the store bought sambhar masala powder.
Turdal 3/4 cup
Fresh Methi bunch cleaned and washed 1 cup [Leaves separated ]
Cherry tomatoes 10-12 halved. [ You can replace these with regular tomatoes]
Carrots cubed/ diced 2 cups
Onions 2 chopped or sliced
Turmeric powder a pinch
Sambhar powder 1 1/2 tbsp [Everest sambhar powder]
Tamarind to make extract
Jaggery grated about 2 -3 tsp
Salt to taste
Wash the dal and pressure cook it. After cooling whisk it and keep it aside. [I add a tsp of oil and turmeric powder to ensure that the dal gets cooked properly]. Boil the cubed carrots in separate vessel.
Soak tamarind and extract it's juice. Wash the methi leaves and keep them aside. [ if u want to chop these leaves do it just before adding them to the seasoning in the pan] I didn't chop them and added them as leaves itself.
Heat the oil in the pan, add chopped onions. Once the onions turn soft add turmeric powder, methi leaves, halved cherry tomatoes and saute them. Now add tamarind extract, Sambhar powder and boil it till the raw smell goes off. Add the boiled carrot pieces, cooked dal and jaggery. Adjust salt and water to get preferred consistency of sambhar. Stir well, simmer all for 5-10 minutes more and remove it from flame. Add the seasoning with mustard seeds in a tsp of ghee. I have avoided the use of curry leaves or coriander leaves in this preparation which wud otherwise mask the flavor of methi leaves.
Methi leaves sambhar is ready to be served with hot rice. You can also have this sambhar as an accompaniment with idlies and dosas.