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:

  1. Roast all the ingredients and powder in a coffee grinder until fine.
  2. Store in a dry jar. Keeps well for over a year.

Method for Salad/Dip:

  1. Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.

Other uses of metkoot on this blog:

Bhadang

Comments (13)

  1. Nupur March 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Your little girl has an immune system- she'll recover! Keeping her locked in a bubble and not exploring her world would be worse, don't you think? The metkoot looks amazing.

  2. Manisha March 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    i only ate varan-bhaat and metkut-bhaat when i was a horrid horrid kid. i drove my mom nuts. i haven't made metkut for the longest time and your post is definitely driving me to make some soon. that salad dip idea is pretty interesting, too!

  3. Paaka Shaale March 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    This is such a simple and healthy spice mix. Would love to make this for me and my little purvi as well 🙂

  4. Saee Koranne-Khandekar March 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    @Nupur: Totally agree! That's what I keep telling myself as I watch her go at my potted plants.
    @Manisha: I re-discovered metkoot very recently. I think it's got potential!
    @Paaka Shaale: Try it and let me know what you think!

  5. Srivalli March 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Such a beautiful post, hope your lil one gets better

  6. Saee Koranne-Khandekar March 21, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    @Srivalli: Thanks, she's getting back to normal 🙂

  7. Prachi K March 21, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I used to eat the loose cement between the flooring tiles in my house. Developed rather a bad case of worms and still survived till (at least) the age of 30. And I refuse to believe that my mom was anywhere near at fault for my culinary experiments! Kids move in mysterious ways their mistakes to perform, and moms cannot be omniscient/present all the time, so chill.

    The metkoot recipe looks yumm. I shall try it out!

  8. Anjali March 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

    The metkut dip is really original and am going to try it out. Avanee baby will grow strong so don't worry. Loosie are good at times for the kids atleast you won't need a purging.

  9. Khaugiri March 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Metkut is my favorite too. My aai used to make this deep earlier when there is nothing to do for chutney in her kitchen. Thnaks for sharing dear!!!

  10. Shilpa May 24, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Hey saee, I'm out of dried ginger. do you think i could omit it, or is it an essential flavour?

  11. Saee Koranne-Khandekar May 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Shilpa, the ginger is what contributes to the hint of spiciness in the metkoot. You could try the recipe without it though. Maybe just add a couple more peppercorns. Let me know how it turns out!

  12. Shilpa June 1, 2011 at 11:03 am

    saee, it was lovely. I think I may not have to trek to family stores to buy their metkut any more 🙂

  13. Saee Koranne-Khandekar June 2, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Shilpa,

    I'm so happy you made it and liked it! What did you use it for?

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