Monday, July 1, 2013

Menthe soppu bath | Spiced fenugreek leaves rice : A Karnataka Specialty!

This is one of the rice dishes that I often cook for guests. All of them have liked this & in fact they all wanted me to share the recipe with them. This is a slight variation from the gorikai bath. The slight bitterness from the fenugreek leaves, sweetness from the jaggery, tanginess from the tamarind & the spice from the masala powder makes this a very delicious rice!

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 45 mins (including the cooking of rice)
Recipe Source: Amma (my mom)

For the rice:
Sona masoori rice: 2 cups
Water: 4-5 cups
Salt: a pinch, optional

For the menthe soppu palya / spicy fenugreek mixture:
Oil: 1 tsp
Fenugreek leaves: 1 medium sized bunch, about 2 cups tightly packed
Frozen peas: 3/4 cup
Tamarind: lime sized soaked in 1/2 cup warm water.
Turmeric powder: a big pinch
Brown sugar/jaggery:/bella 1 tbsp
Vangi bath powder*: 2 tbsp, a little more or less
Salt: As needed

* I do not use vangi bath powder, instead use a home made bath powder. I get this from my mom. Will share the recipe of my mom's bath powder soon. You could use MTR Vangi bath powder for good results.

For the tempering:
Oil: 1.5 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal/uddina bele : 2 tsp
Peanuts : 2 tbsp
Curry leaves: 6-8 nos, torn
Red chili: 1 no, broken
Asafoetida: a big pinch

Cook the rice & let it cool.
For the fenugreek spice mixture:
Seperate the leaves from the stem & wash the leaves thoroughly. Chop them fine.

Heat oil in a broad pan. When hot, throw in the fenugreek leaves & saute till the leaves wilt. Cook the leaves on a medium heat.

Once the leaves reduce in size & gets half cooked, throw in the peas.

Add the turmeric powder.

Squeeze the water from the tamarind & pour the tamarind water to the pan.
Add the jaggery, salt & vangi bath powder. Cook on medium heat till the mixture becomes thick.

Meantime spread the rice on a large mixing plate or bowl. Add the prepared fenugreek mixture to the mixing bowl.
Prepare the tempering. Heat oil. When hot, add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds & urad dal.

When seeds crackle & dal turns golden brown, add the peanuts & saute till peanuts are nice golden brown.

Reduce the heat to low, add the curry leaves, broken red chili. Let the curry leaves wilt. Finally add the asafoetida & remove the tempering from the heat.

Pour in the tempering to the rice. Let the tempering cool a bit. Once cool enough to handle, mix the rice thoroughly. I prefer using my hands to mix this kind of rice bath.

Let the rice sit for at least 30 mins before serving. The flavors talk to each other & blend well.

Serve this rice warm or at room temperature with a fritter/vada/chips or a salad/kosambari.

  • This is a very forgiving recipe. You could adjust the taste of the dish at the time of mixing the rice too. 
  • Whenever I felt the dish lacked the sourness, I have added some lemon juice at the end while mixing the rice. 
  • If you feel the spice powder is less, then heat about 2 tsp of oil in a small pan. Add the needed vangi bath powder to the hot oil, saute for 15-20 secs. Pout this oil mixture to the rice & mix well. 
  • You could replace the tamarind juice with the lemon juice & it does taste delicious. 
  • I prefer using the fresh tamarind extract over the readily available tamarind pulp. The sweetness from the fresh tamarind enhances the taste.
  • Instead of the peas, you could use avarekai/lima beans.


  1. Healthy one pot meal...looks delicious.l

  2. Thats definitely a tongue tickling rice..looks yumm..would love 2 see ur bath powder recipe too

  3. This sounds new and interesting. Must taste yum for sure

  4. That's an yummy one pot meal....

  5. Highly flavourful and delicious healthy one pot meal.

  6. Healthy and delicious meal.. looks tempting !!

  7. Absolutely fabulous recipe ...Really Looks good....



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