Fenugreek Seeds

Spice Profile: Fenugreek

Scientific Name Trigonella foenum-graecum

Pronounced: Fen-oo-GREEK

The scientific name Trigonella refers to triangularly shaped flowers. Foenum-graecum translates into 'Greek Hay'

Fenugreek Leaves

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a leafy green plant that can be used in may ways. Fresh leaves are used in Iranian and Indian cooking, the sprouted seeds are used in salads and seeds are used in spice blends, baking and pickles. The seeds can even be ground to make flour for breads.

How Can I Use Fenugreek?

Uses:

  • Fresh leaves can be used as a vegetable, cooked with potatoes, spinach or rice, or chopped and added to dough.
  • Dried leaves can be used to flavor sauces and gravies.
  • Seeds can be used in pickles, chutneys and baking.
  • Grounds seed can be used in spice blends, curries or baking.
  • Sprouted seeds can be combined with tomatoes and olives for a fresh salad.
  • Fenugreek pairs well with winter vegetables, lamb, fish and starches

Preparation methods:

  • Dry roast or fry the seeds to release a lovely maple syrup flavor.
  • Seeds can be ground or soaked and ground to be used in paste.

 

Where can I get Fenugreek?

Spice specialty stores carry Fenugreek seeds. Leaves can be purchased at Indian grocery stores and some natural food markets carry sprouted seeds.

Substitutes for Fenugreek

If you’re unable to get Fenugreek, you can try a substitute for fenugreek that will provide a similar flavor and texture:

  • Roasted seeds- try maple syrup
  • In spice mixes- roasted curry powder
  • Raw seeds- roasted mustard seeds
  • Fresh leaves- spinach or kale

What is the History of Fenugreek?

Fenugreek was used as animal feed in classical times and is still used in that way in Europe. Native to Asia and southeastern Europe, it has been used as a flavoring and medicine since ancient times.

How is Fenugreek Grown?

Fenugreek is an annual plant that is self seeding. It requires full sun and rich soil. Leaves can be harvested during the growing season, then seeds can be harvested when ripe and dried.

Sources

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