MAK­ING IT WITH METHI

Fun ideas to get your tod­dler to bite into the bit­ter yet awe­some health ben­e­fits that fenu­greek of­fers

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - BY ASHISHWANG GODHA

Ways to in­clude fenu­greek in daily diet

Here’s pre­sent­ing our an­swer to all your fussy tod­dler woes. Every is­sue, we will dis­cuss one not-so-pop­u­lar-yethighly-nu­tri­tious veggie or fruit, and tell you a myr­iad ways of sneak­ing it in...

My tod­dler isn’t re­ally a fussy eater — on most days. But the words ‘fenu’ and ‘greek’ are al­ways a most def­i­nite put-off. So, here are my tricks on how to get the re­ally healthy methi into that tiny tummy. There are two kinds of methi. The fresh ten­der methi, the one with the tiny green leaves and white stems at­tached, is full of value. Of course, it’s re­ally bit­ter as well. All the more chal­leng­ing to get tod­dlers to eat it. I pre­fer to add these to snack recipes, where there are sweet­en­ers in­volved. Then there are full-grown fenu­greek leaves. These don’t have the same acrid bit­ter­ness that the baby methi does. But, they cer­tainly have the health ben­e­fits. Fenu­greek is high in vi­ta­min B-6, potas­sium and mag­ne­sium. It’s rich in min­er­als, vi­ta­mins, phy­tonu­tri­ents and anti-ox­i­dants that help strengthen the im­mune sys­tem. It helps bal­ance the ex­tra sweet that most tod­dlers in­dulge in. It clears out the liver, cleanses the gut and helps aid di­ges­tion. Tummy ache com­plaints? Sip on some methi tea. For adults too, methi helps curb di­a­betes, main­tain blood lipid lev­els, and re­duce heart is­sues. Of course, it ben­e­fits our hair, skin and nails im­mensely. Any more rea­sons why it should be a reg­u­lar part of your tod­dler, and your own, diet?

BREAK­FAST Methi paratha, dosa, pan­cakes, omelettes

Yes, you can get your tod­dler to eat methi for break­fast. Add an as­sort­ment of veg­gies with methi into her parathas, add dried fenu­greek into mini dosas or even idlis. Or go English, and make pan­cakes with fresh methi. Top with a driz­zle of honey. If you feel ad­ven­tur­ous, add a dash of methi to cheesy scram­bled eggs or fluffy omelettes.

SNACKS Methi and cheese cook­ies

Mix flour (I of­ten use a mix of bar­ley or ama­ranth, with whole wheat), but­ter, sugar (you could sub­sti­tute with jag­gery), a pinch of salt and a pinch of bak­ing pow­der. Use any reg­u­lar cookie recipe for mea­sure­ments. Mix in a whole bunch of fresh methi leaves and a gen­er­ous pro­por­tion of grated cheese. Pat into reg­u­lar cook­ies or use a cookie-cut­ter for fun shapes that your tod­dler will love. You could even tweak your recipe and make thin crackers, in­stead of thicker cook­ies.

Store it: In an air-tight con­tainer for up to a week.

Methi shakarpala

Again, I make my shakarpala with a mix of dif­fer­ent flours to add value to a tod­dler snack. Add in finely chopped methi leaves to the flour mix. You could choose to add some honey or date syrup as a trea­cle for set­ting off the tart­ness of the baby methi. Cut into sim­ple fun shapes. Fry till crisp.

Store it: In an air-tight con­tainer for up to a week.

Methi sand­wiches

These come in many vari­ants and are great for pic­nics and school snack boxes. Sauté the methi lightly with a cou­ple of cloves of gar­lic and salt. Coarsely grind. I make an MLT, my ver­sion of a BLT. I some­times add shred­ded chicken and a slice of cheese, with the let­tuce and tomato slices, on gen­er­ously but­tered multi-grain bread. I’ve also tried a suc­cess­ful ver­sion with the methi spread and peanut but­ter. Cut sand­wiches into tri­an­gles, cir­cles and even pen­ta­gons for added fun. Store it: Fill the methi spread into an air-tight jar and top gen­er­ously with olive oil if you would like to keep, re­frig­er­ated, for a cou­ple of days.

RECIPES Canapes

Make a sim­ple, non-spicy methi veg­etable. I make mine with finely sliced onions, toma­toes and pota­toes to take the sharp­ness off the ten­der methi. Stuff the canapés till half full. Top with grated cheese of your choice – reg­u­lar, ched­dar or gouda all go well. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10 min­utes or un­til the cheese be­gins to melt. Al­low to cool (im­pa­tient hun­gry tod­dlers may bite and scald them­selves) and serve.

Methi malai mut­ter

Stick with the big methi leaves for this one. Your reg­u­lar methi and green peas veg­etable can be a tod­dler favourite. If you aren’t high on the fresh cream like us, add it only to your tod­dler’s bowl. I of­ten use ac­tual malai, lightly whipped, and that works just as well. You could also try avoid­ing the cream and us­ing pa­neer, grated or cubed.

Methi the­pla pizza base

Methi the­p­las not mak­ing the cut with your tod­dler? Not even with srik­hand? Trans­form them into home-made pizza bases. But­ter a grid­dle lightly, place the­pla, add some jag­gery, al­low it to melt and top it with an­other the­pla. Seal into a paratha. Top with pizza top­pings of choice (go re­ally easy on the sauce or avoid al­to­gether, else the base will get soggy). Bake in a pre­heated oven for 10 min­utes.

Methi pu­lao, methi dal or methi khichdi

Since tod­dler por­tions are gen­er­ally rather small, these may not pro­vide a high dose of methi nutri­tion but, when it comes to tiny tum­mies, some­thing is bet­ter than noth­ing. Sim­ply add freshly chopped fenu­greek leaves to your reg­u­lar veg­etable/meat pu­lao, yel­low dal or mung dal khichdi. It makes a sim­ple, whole­some fam­ily meal.

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