Fenugreek

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Dried Fenugreek Leaves, or Methi Leaves

Fenugreek or Methi are used as a spice (the seed) or herb (the leaves). Fenugreek seeds are important in Indian cuisine and curry powders, while the seeds can be sprouted like a mung beans.

Fenugreek seeds are like small hard pieces of triangular gravel (3 - 5 mm long; up to ¼ inches long). Fenugreek seeds are golden brown in colour. The aroma of fenugreek seeds is mild and like dried peas, while the flavour is mildly bitter and also pea-like, or perhaps more like those dried broad beans that you can find in Arabic stores. Dry roasting fenugreek seeds enhances their flavours, allowing all the aromas to develop better, but over-toasting will increase their bitterness.

Dried fenugreek leaves (Methi) are dark green and generally used dried as the fresh leaves are hard to come by. Fenugreek leaves have a grassy, hay-like aroma with a leguminous taste and mild bitterness. In fresh fenugreek leaves, the aroma is less hay-like.

Further reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN 9780778804932.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN 9781465435989.