Fenugreek is a plant with yellow and white flowers that somewhat resembles alfalfa. Both its leaves and seeds are edible, and the latter, which are small, yellow and cuboid-shaped, can be used either whole or ground.
Fenugreek adds a nutty, caramel-like taste to food. Most often used in Indian cuisine, it is a common ingredient in daal, is a central ingredient in spice mixes like panch phoron and adds a rich, complex flavor to curry dishes. It can also be used to season savory meats, such as chicken or pork, and can be used in vegetable dishes.
Dry roast or temper fenugreek seeds before use to release their rich flavor. However, too much fenugreek can overpower a dish with an unpleasant, bitter taste, so use sparingly and don’t overcook.
In addition to its culinary application, fenugreek is used for its medicinal properties. In Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, it’s a classic solution for blood sugar control. It has also been used to alleviate digestive problems and many nursing mothers use it to improve lactation while breastfeeding.
Have you used fenugreek before, in or out of the kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!