Metkoot Recipe (and a Metkoot-based Salad)
My daughter has a stomach infection. Why? Because she’s teething at the speed of light and is tempted to help herself to whatever she finds at hand. Leaves from my window garden, footwear that I forgot to put inside the shoe cabinet, wrong ends of telephone-side pens (No, I do not leave them open, she has acquired the skill to open them herself)…you get the idea.
The above lines bring forward two very important points:
- I am a horrible mother.
- Avanee has a stomach infection.
For the sake of this food blog, we will ignore the first point and move with an immediate sense of urgency toward the second.
So. As I was saying, stomach infection. When we were kids, a stomach bug meant rice diet. Daal-chawal (Varan-bhaat), dahi-bhaat (curd rice), and most importantly, metkoot-bhaat. Metkoot is a typically Maharashtrain Brahmin spice mix that is used to lightly spike a bland rice porridge or to add that extra zing or khamang-pana to chivdas. My great grandmother’s recipe is what gets made at home. The store-bought versions are not roasted enough (if at all) and are, therefore, lacking in that sense of comfort that anything from a mother’s kitchen should evoke.
But wait. Before you bookmark this for a sick day, let me also introduce you to another very good use of metkoot—in this wonderful salad/dip of crisp onions, bitter(ish) fenugreek, sour-ish yogurt, and the subtle metkoot. Ideal as a side with an everyday meal of chapattis or rice, or as a dip with chips and suchlike.
Ingredients for metkoot:
- 1 cup chana daal (split Bengal gram)
- ½ cup urad daal (split black gram)
- ¼ cup rice
- ¼ cup wheat
- 1 heaped tsp. mustard seeds
- ½ tsp. dried ginger powder
- 3-4 cloves
- ½ cup dried coriander seeds
- ½ cup cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- ¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
- ½ tsp. asafetida
- ½ tsp. black peppercorns
Ingredients for Onion, Fenugreek and Yogurt Salad/Dip:
- ½ a bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves (or cilantro)
- 1 medium-sized red onion
- 1 small tomato (optional)
- 1 cup of natural yogurt (dahi)
- 1 tbsp. metkoot
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
Method for Metkoot:
- Roast all the ingredients and powder in a coffee grinder until fine.
- Store in a dry jar. Keeps well for over a year.
Method for Salad/Dip:
- Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.
Other uses of metkoot on this blog: