Fish With Fenugreek and Cilantro “Methi Masala”

“Methi” (fenugreek) masala is one of the most versatile gravies ever. Healthy and delicious, methi masala consists of fresh fenugreek, cilantro, green chilies, garlic and tomatoes. You can even add Indian cottage cheese (“paneer”), potatoes, or fish to this gravy. One gravy and three options! Perfect!

Fenugreek is best prepared with care. Be sure to wash the leaves in cold water repeatedly to make sure you remove all the sand. Also be sure to cook the leaves really well as that will eliminate their otherwise bitter taste.  I learnt this the hard way when I first attempted this recipe as part of a big meal for a party.

Long story short – the rest of the dinner turned out great! (Sand from the fenugreek ruined the paneer methi masala – imagine the appetite-destroying sound of crunchy sand!). I realized my mistake at my first horrific bite and off the dish went from my dining table!

As I said earlier, make sure the fenugreek’s washed – at least a couple of times.

Fenugreek masala is very popular in my home.  I often prepare and freeze the gravy in advance. Then, depending on what I have on hand or feel like eating add the fish or potatoes, or paneer.


  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or freshly grated (I use a microplane zester)
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (if  you want it less spicy, slit the chillies in half and remove the seeds)
  • 1 cup cilantro cleaned, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves cleaned, washed and finely chopped (pick just the leaves)
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder(dhaniya)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric (haldi)
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh cat fish (can also use tilapia)
  • salt to taste.
Note: After the cilantro and fenugreek are washed, I take both of them, bunch it up and chop together finely.


  1. Heat oil in a vessel.  Add garlic and ginger and chillies.  Fry this for a minute. Add the fenugreek and cilantro and fry this for 10-12 minutes on medium high. I like to add a little salt at this time as it helps it to release water.
  2. Then add the tomatoes and let this cook well for another 10 minutes till the oil starts to separate.
  3. Add the coriander powder, turmeric and salt to taste. Then add hot water.
  4. Gently put the fish in and cook for 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.
  5. Serve hot with rice or Indian bread”chappati”.


  • It is important to wash the cilantro and fresh fenugreek leaves well.  I take a big vessel, add water to it and throw in the cilantro. Place the bowl under a tap of cold water and gently run your fingers through the cilantro. The cilantro floats on top and the sand accumulates at the bottom of the vessel. Do this 2 -3 times to make sure it is perfectly cleaned.
  •  Do the same with fresh fenugreek leaves.
  • With potatoes: Cooking time will vary if using this gravy for potatoes. Once you make the gravy, peel and cube the potatoes, throw it in and cover on low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. The gravy gets thick from all the starch in the potatoes. It’s delicious!
  • With paneer: After the gravy is cooked, just add the paneer and keep on low flame for 5 minutes. Ready to serve.






77 comments to Fish With Fenugreek and Cilantro “Methi Masala”

  • I had no idea you could cook with fenugreek. I had only ever heard of it in the form of a medicine to induce milk with nursing. I learn something new every day! And this looks delicious. A masala is not something wev’e attempted yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to when we do. Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Kristy,
      Fenugreek has many medicinal properties and is also very delicious. I love adding it to lentils and vegetables. Yes, it is wonderful for women who are nursing.

  • I’ve never seen fresh fenugreek before – like Kristy, I know this from breastfeeding time. I really wish that I had known there are ways to consume this rather than drinking boring fenugreek tea for my breastfeeding! I didn’t know that back then! Looks good with potato or tofu.

    • Hi Nami,
      My mom visited me to help out with my delivery, made a vegetable out of fenugreek seeds by soaking them and then sprouting them. She added lots of caramelized onions to take the bitter taste away. It was one of the yummiest things I had eaten. Also she made a drink with semolina, almonds , fenugreek seeds crushed and lots of other goodies and would mix it in milk and give it to me. I know, fenugreek is excellent for mothers who are nursing.

  • wow Asmita! Really love your dishes. Can’t get enough of paneer and I love that you cooked it with fish! mmm! What a wonderful dinner!

  • At least the sandy gravy was only a part of a big meal. 😉 If I can’t find fenugreek leaves, can I sub this for fenugreek powder? Love all the options for this gravy!

    • Hi Margarita,
      Sorry, you will need to buy fresh fenugreek for this which is available in any Indian grocery store and is very cheap. Costs about a $1 for a big bunch. I hope you are able to find it and make this.

  • Hi Asmita – I’m not very familiar with fenugreek at all… I’ve never seen it in France (but I’ve never seen curry leaves here either). I wonder if I can find an Indian grocery store. I’m sure I could get it if I lived in England – we have big Indian communities there, but in France not so much… it’s more north African and Chinese/Vietnamese communities here.

    Anyway, I won’t give up – hopefully one day, because it looks so tasty!

    • Hi Charles,
      Fenugreek is so commonly used in Indian cooking. It’s bitter but yet very flavorful. I do hope you are able to find these and make this dish. It’s delicious!

  • Hi Asmita-thank you for commenting on my blog…I really love your step-by-step photo direction of this delicious dish!
    Thanks for sharing:DDD

  • you make a lot of yummy food.. i’d never think of adding fish with methi masala, chicken – yes, and potatoes – yes. I make my aloo methi in a very similar way, but I also make it the dry way. this looks insanely delicious… my husband would love you! You make all this meat that he loves. 🙂

    • Hi,
      Thank you so much. The fish tastes awesome with this masala. In India we used to add pomfret fillets but here I use Cat- Fish. If you try it, please let me know how it turned out with the fish.

  • This looks amazing! I love the flavours!

  • How delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this with paneer!

  • Oh yummm! This looks so delicious! Love all the flavors in this dish! This would taste wonderful with chicken or pork too!

  • I’m going to have to locate some fenugreek leaves so I can make this. Right now I’m drinking the tea because it’s supposed to help with lactation, but eating it in meals would probably also be helpful!

  • I’ve never had fenugreek leaves before- this is good for me to know about! thanks!

  • Liz

    If I ever see fresh fenugreek, I will definitely buy it. What a lovely meal (bur sorry about the sand!).

  • This looks so light yet delicious! I love all the flavours! Tell you a funny story. We love growing our own sprouts and some years ago, decided to sprout fenugreek seeds. They were delicious BUT after a few days, my husband and I started getting these whiffs and I kept thinking, man I need a shower! It was another couple of days before we realised that it was the fenugreek sprouts making us smell! Never sprouted them again and the problem went away quickly!

  • Fenugreek. Now that’s definitely one ingredient I have yet to cook with. It sounds delicious.

  • What a wonderfully spicy fish dish 😀
    Great work!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • I’ve never heard of fenugreek before, but this was a very informative read and excellent tips on the removing the sand. Sandy herbs/veggies are the worst – even the tiniest bit of sand can ruin a perfect dish…

  • This is such a delicious preparation….the pics are realy good….very very inviting!a lovely healthy dish.

  • I haven’t cooked with fresh fenugreek before and have only used the dried variety so haven’t had your issues. Thanks for letting me know about how well you have to wash the leaves. Lovely looking recipes xx

  • Ooooh! That gravy sounds divine! I love fresh fenugreek but its a big pain to find it in Cayman. I’ll bookmark this recipe for the next time I’m lucky enough to find it 🙂

  • I have never seen fresh fenugreek over here…this looks so fresh, tasty and loaded with flavours.

  • I love the use of fenugreek. The color is just so inviting. Pairing it with cottage cheese is just perfect. 🙂

  • Wow! This dish looks really tasty! I love your pics!

  • Eri

    Amazing sauce Asmita I’m really excited! We are using fenugreek to make a different spicy paste that we use for traditional meatballs but I’m going to try your version with fish!
    Have a lovely week my friend!

  • I found your blog on another site. Just wanted to let you know that I subscribed to your feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be.

  • Good recipe. I often use fenugreek seeds, but have never used the fresh leaves. Sounds like I’ve been missing out – I’ll have to make an effort to find some (not in most grocery stores where I live, but it’s available in Asian groceries). I really like recipes like this, where you make the basic flavoring (gravy, in this case) then use with other ingredients to make whatever dish suits your mood that particular day. Good post – thanks.

  • I am not sure I can find fenugreek here, but this dish is packed with flavor and great ingredients! I would love to try it!

  • I never used fenugreek…but this fish dish looks great, so much flavor in it…I love to try this with paneer 🙂
    Thanks for this interesting recipe and hope you have a wonderful week ahead Asmita!

  • I too have never used fenugreek, I have read about sprotting fenugreek seeds. Will the sprouts work the same as the leaves?

    • Hi Norma,
      For this recipe you will need to use fresh fenugreek leaves. I do have a recipe for sprouted fenugreek seeds made with lots of onions to eliminate the bitter taste. I shall work on that and try posting that soon.

  • I am a big fan of cilantro, so I would probably love this delicious looking dish.

  • I love fresh and dry methi. The dish gets so flavorful by just adding a handful of fresh leaves or a tbsp of dry one.
    I have never tried methi in fish. You just gave me an idea to make it next time.

    • Hi Balvinder,
      I tried this dish for the first time at my mother in law’s place and loved it. I had had methi aloo up until then, but this was something new and the flavors were incredible.So Now it’s made at my place very often. My husband enjoys it with paneer.

  • I just cannot handle cilantro, and I so wish that I could. This looks delicious 🙂

  • I need to try and use fenu greek leaves and great tip on the washing 🙂 looks awesome

  • hi asmita..a very interesting recipe. boookmarked with thanks. i dont know if we have fenugreek leaves over here. is there a substitute for this. thanks and have anice day

  • It never ceases to amaze me what wonderful spices and herbs are available in India. I am ready to go to the spice market there. This recipe does look delicious and flavorful. I would love be able to have at least one meal at your place-yum!

  • That dish looks mighty delicious! I’d love to taste fresh fenugreek. I only know the seeds…



  • This dish looks wonderful–and I always appreciate reading about others’ cooking disasters. It sounds like a mistake I would have made!

  • This looks like my kind of recipe! Thank you for posting such an easy to follow version, I’ll be trying it out soon!

  • looks medical wise F.greek are very healthy i dis type never heard…

  • Oh my goodness. Now I’m drooling. Is it too late tonight to start making these?

  • Oooo I love fenugreek! I will have to try this. It sounds delicious!!

  • Hey Asmita! Like you, I too love fenugreek leave – dry or fresh and the way they pep-up a dish is so amazing. I have never cooked fish with fenugreek but I am sure it would taste! Your pics looks great 🙂

  • Oh wow, I’m loving the unique combo of flavors in this dish. I’ve never cooked with fenugreek before, but I’m thinking I’d love it because I’m starving now, looking at this dish! 🙂

  • this is a wonderful post! Never thought to cook with fenugreek. Thanks for teaching me something new

  • I’ve never used fresh fenugreek leaves. I’d love to try it! The sauce sounds fantastic for fish.

  • I love that each time I visit your site I learn something new, either how to prepare an ingredient or the ingredient itself! This looks delicious and you genuinely make me want to recreate it for myself. Thank you!

  • Oh yummm! This looks so easy and so good. Will make it with fish for my husband this weekend. I will have to use frozen methi though 🙁

    By the way I made your Sidhi style chicken curry last week and my husband LOVED it.

  • I never know how to use fenugreek so your recipe is goingt o be a soon try out. Oh hell sand in the veggie is surely no fun, and after all the troubel preparing this wonderful dish. thanks for letting us know that this might happen. I ll surely wash my fenugreek tripple in the future!

  • Eva

    I was sure I left a comment here…
    I’ve seed fenugreek in recipes but have never cooked with it. This curry looks delicious so I will keep my eye out for the fresh fenugreek so I can give it a try. Thanks

  • Love the combo of methi & fish here. So yummy. My mom makes fish curry similar way. Your post reminded me of her ;$

  • Such an informative post Asmita–I learned so much! I am not familiar with fenugreek, but I love cilantro.

  • Thats very creative with the simple illustration

  • Looks so easy to prepare & delicious…mouthwatering!

  • Thank you for introducing me to this gorgeous and versatile sauce… healthy and delightfully flavourful – wonderful!

  • Shobha

    Such a nice receipe, Thanks for sharing. My husband’s favorite dish.

  • Shobha

    Such a nice recipe, Thanks for sharing. My husband’s favorite dish.

  • Hi Asmita!

    I was looking for a cool methi masala recipe! thanks!!
    enjoy your travel, by the way. such a pity that we wont be able to meet up. it would have been so much fun!!

    • Hi Helene,
      Hope you are having a good time with your family. It is a pity we wont be able to meet. Hopefully, next time!

  • Calvin

    Hello Asmita – I cooked this today with Salmon and it is delicious! The sauce is so tasty and does not overpower the fish. Thanks also for the Garam Masala recipe – I’ll be cooking your Cailiflower dish with that tomorrow. This site is GREAT!

    • Thanks Calvin,
      I am so glad to know you made it and enjoyed it. Let me know how the cauliflower turns out. It goes very well with yellow lentil and rice. That is usually what gets made on a weekend at my place.

  • I agree with Calvin! I love all of your dishes but your Indian dishes are the BEST! I am heading off to the Indian provisions store this week as getting low on supplies and I need to ask if they have fenugreek leaves. What is your favorite with the fish or the peneer?

  • Percy Donlin

    Fenugreek is really helpful on diabetics because research shows that it can help in controlling high blood sugar levels. ;**’;

    Kind thanks