Methi Turai Dal (Menthi Beerakaaya Pappu)

Methi in my garden is now fully grown. Thanks to the frequent rains and pleasant weather we had for the past few weeks. I dug out few plants and plucked the fresh leaves and tender stems to prepare methi dal for today’s meal. I also added turai, because I thought mildly sweet turai would complement methi’s herbal flavor. Individually also they are best friends with toor dal. Together, methi and turai made an excellent team-toor dal day.

Methi is easy to grow in garden beds or in small containers, tastes good and known to balance blood sugar levels. If you have never tried growing methi, please do try this season. Go to an Indian grocery and purchase a packet of methi seeds. Soak some in water for a day. Wrap the soaked seeds in a wet muslin (cheese) cloth for a day or two. Seeds start to sprout. Plant the methi sprouts in soil where it gets sunlight. Water once a day. Within a month methi will be ready to harvest for dal, curry or roti.

Fresh Methi and Turai

Methi Turai Dal (Menthi Beerakaaya Pappu)
(for 2 or 4, for 4 to 2 meals)

3/4 cup, toor dal (kandi pappu)
2 cups, fresh methi leaves and pinched tender stems
2 cups, turai pieces (peel the turai ridges and thinly slice)
1 small red onion or shallot. chopped
8 to 10, Indian or Thai green chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon, tamarind pulp
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

In a pressure cooker, take toor dal. Wash and clean the dal. Add the methi leaves, turai, onion, green chilli, tamarind and turmeric. Add about 2 cups of water. Mix. Close the lid and pressure-cook the dal to soft consistency. Allow the pressure to come down and then remove the lid. Add salt, about half teaspoon or to taste, and mash the cooked ingredients gently with a wood masher or a sturdy whisk.

Season the dal with garlic tadka. For garlic tadka, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a medium-sized pot. When oil is hot, add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 8 curry leaves, and a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds. Saute the ingredients to fragrance. Add the methi-turai dal to this garlic tadka. Mix well and serve the methi-turai dal with rice or roti.

Methi Turai Dal with Rice
Methi-Turai Dal and Turai Curry with Rice ~ For Meal Today and
for Suma’s Delicious Dals From India Event



  • By B, April 21, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    love turai,so tender and delicate,nice combination with methi leaves… ur vegetable garden looks very promising this yr,all the best

  • By Hari Chandana Ponnaluri, April 21, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    Yummy Dal !! some hot rice and ghee makes it the best comfort food.. Awesome snaps!!

  • By sushmitha, April 22, 2010 @ 2:24 am

    great combo dal….

  • By Ranjan, April 22, 2010 @ 3:01 am

    Indira, fresh methi wow, never thought of combining it with Turai, must try this weekend.

  • By Manju Rajender, April 22, 2010 @ 5:45 am

    A healthy pappu version 🙂 How are you and kittaya? Is he allowed to taste your dishes? 🙂

    We are doing good, Manju. Kittaya needs a summer haircut, planning to do that next weekend.:)
    Kittaya is a true American cat. He likes food only if it comes from a can or a packet. We tried but he doesn’t eat our freshly prepared food at all.

  • By vijaya, April 22, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    hi indira garu,

    we r also good fans to methi, we use methi leaves like coriander leaves in daily cooking.


  • By Harini, April 22, 2010 @ 7:12 am

    I luv the garden fresh menthi koora anyday!!

  • By Suma Gandlur, April 22, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    You have put two of my favorite ingredients (and also pappus) in one dish. Never thought about mingling beerakaya and menthikoora before.
    Thanks a lot for sending over this to my event.

    Thanks Suma for hosting the event and I thoroughly enjoyed having this recipe for the Delicious Dals.

  • By Sowmya, April 22, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    Indira garu,

    Sorry this is unrelated to the post. I stopped breathing for a few seconds when I tried to open my regular lifeline ( and it threw up an error 🙁 🙁

    Your old website is the only source of my daily recipes. Please try to fix this as soon as possible. Your new website is relatively new and isn’t as exhaustive as the old one. I was looking for the blackeyed peas recipe 🙁

    By the way, it throws up a wordpress error which says “Error establishing a database connection”

    Thank you!!

  • By Kay, April 22, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    What a combination. I have never tried anything like this before. Can’t wait to cook this during the weekend.

  • By Sowmya, April 22, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    Its up now! Thanks Indira garu 🙂

  • By Kalyani, April 22, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

    wow the pappu looks delicious ….

  • By Lakshmi, April 23, 2010 @ 7:00 am

    Thanks for the procedure to grow Methi. I haven’t tried growing many vegetables before mainly bcoz I just dont have the green fingers. But I will try again this time. You inspire me a lot for sure.
    btw, what is Turai?

  • By Leena, April 24, 2010 @ 3:29 am

    Nice info about growing methi…Love the combo of ridge gourd and methi….

  • By Piya, April 24, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

    Hi Indra

    Your website is amazing, love reading it and incorporating it in my cooking


  • By Narayan, April 25, 2010 @ 1:10 am

    A very nice combo – that balances the bitter taste of methi with the sweet taste pf the ridge gourd. In Mumbai, some enterprising people, grow little seedlings on the beach and harvest them when they are perhaps 2 or 3 inches tall, These fresh methi seedlings have tender stems and roots, and so are cooked whole (maybe pinched into 2 parts) into a plain aloo sabji with just jeera, mustard and asafoetida for tempering.

    Is Ridge gourd commonly used in Andhra? In Palakkad Iyer cooking, it is rarely used. I know some Tamilians use the peels to make a “Tohayyal” – a chutney of sorts with tamarind, urad dal and coconut.

    Thanks Indira for your recipes and lovely pictures as always.

    I like that aloo sabji with methi seedlings. My plants are in flowering stage, but I’ll surely make it with my next batch of methi seedlings.
    Beera kaaya (ridge gourd, turai) is a very common and popular vegetable in Andhra. We make daal, chutneys (pacchadi), and curries both dry and with sauces with beerakaaya. The peels also make a tasty pacchadi. It is also one of my favorite vegetables, so turai often appears in various avatars at Mahanandi.:)
    Thanks Narayan for your good words.

  • By Supriya, April 25, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

    Wow! never thought of growing methi..thanks for the tip, Indira…will try now.

  • By indra, June 2, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

    I like the process of growing methi, will also try the method of cooking it.

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