Why Fenugreek Should be your Next Savoury Herb
When you get a little tired of the common savoury herbs: thyme, oregano, basil and so forth, you may think to experiment with tarragon and marjoram, but if you're anything like us, you'll find these flavours more puzzling than interesting. Instead, let's give you another option: there is a fragrant savoury herb used throughout India, the Middle East, including Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and also parts of Asia: Fenugreek (Methi). Some describe the flavour as a combination of celery and fennel, but in fact it's subtly bitter flavour which does have notes of celery is incredibly nuanced, including notes of maple strong enough that sometimes it is used to create a mock maple flavour.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek is an anti-inflammatory herb. Both the seeds and leaves are used in cooking. They contain vitaminss A, B6, and C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, as well as important minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium selenium, and zinc.
How to use Fenugreek Leaves
Do you have a week? Fenugreek interesects so much of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, a genuine how-to on their use could populate a blog for years, however there are some guidelines that will help you navigate using this spice.
1. Watch out for the bitterness: Since there is a bitter element to fenugreek leaves, it's best to use them in slight moderation. We generally use about a tablespoon in 4-6 serving recipes. In dishes such as Aloo Methi, a side-dish where fenugreek leaves are a main ingredient, we've used a quarter cup for that amount of servings.
2. Counterbalance the flavour of fenugreek leaves with any of the following ingredients: cumin, black pepper, lemon, coriander, garlic, ginger, amchoor.
3. Do not temper or fry fenugreek leaves on their own. Instead, use these as you would use any savoury herbs to add to sauces and soups, and let the unique flavour infuse for at least 20 minutes.
4. As with all spices, store fenugreek leaves in an airtight container.
In What Recipes should I use Fenugreek Leaves?
There are so many delicious recipes with fenugreek leaves. One of our favourites is Methi Matar, which is an incredible, creamy combination of garlic, onion, peas, potatoes, and many delicious aromatic herbs.
Generally speaking, you can use fenugreek leaves in most recipes, however here are a selected few:
Where Can I find Fenugreek Leaves
You can of course buy Fenugreek Leaves online. If this is not an option, or if you like to shop local, you can find fenugreek leaves at your local Indian Grocer. You should consider trying fresh Fenugreek leaves, which you can grow from the seeds which are also sold wherever you can find dried fenugreek leaves.