21 Sep 2006

Fenugreek or Methi

Fenugreek (methi) leaves are used as a herb, it's seeds are used as a spice or they are sprouted. This spicy bitter sweet plant is actually a member of the bean family. It grows wild in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia and has been used since before the Pyramids were built.

It contains vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and potassium. Fenugreek also contains many phyto-nutrients, is rich in protein and readily assimilated iron, and is also a strong astringent.

Fenugreek has been known as a medicinal herb since the Middle Ages. It is often used as a digestive aid as stimulates bile secretion and thus promotes a good appetite and easy digestion. It is used to relieve sinusitis and sore throats. Due to it's diosgenin content it is drunk as a tea to increase milk when breast feeding. Studies are also being done to show it's use in the management of diabetes and as a diet aid, as it is said to reduce the absorption of fats.

Fenugreek's most common use today is as food or for it's flavor. The seeds are roasted and ground and used in pickles, curry powder, candy and breads. The seeds are also sprouted and added to salads and to cooked dishes. The young leaves both fresh and dried are used in cooked dishes as a spicy herb. Due to the bitter flavor they should be used sparingly. When sprouting, soak the seeds for approx 8 hours and sprout for 3 to 5 days.

A healthy addition to your meals.


Recipes of the Day

Garam Masala Recipe
from Epicurean

1/2 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cinnamon stick pieces
1/4 cup black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cumin seeds
3 tbsp whole cloves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
3 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp red pepper flakes

Place all of the spices except the turmeric, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes, on a baking sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for 10 minutes or until all smell fragrant. Place in a food processor and grind as fine as you can. You may have to break up the cinnamon stick pieces by hand. Then add all (including turmeric, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes) the ingredients to a food blender and grind away. Moving the spices from a food processor to a blender will allow you to get a finer grind. Store in a sealed glass jar.

Aloo Methi (diced potatoes with fenugreek leaves)
from RecipeCottage

1.5lb peeled potatoes
2 small cloves of garlic
1.5 tbsp dehydrated fenugreek leaves
1.5 tbsp pure mustard oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
3-4 whole dried large red chillies, or to taste

Chop the potatoes into pieces ~ 1/2" square. Peel and cut the garlic cloves across into very fine slices. Place the dehydrated fenugreek leaves in a fine sieve and wash in running water. Leave to soak by placing your strainer containing the leaves immersed in a bowl of cold water. This freshens the leaves and releases their aroma. Heat the oil and fry the sliced garlic until med brown. As soon as the garlic changes colour put in the turmeric, immediately followed by the potatoes, and stir them around for a short while over low heat. Add the salt and then the fenugreek leaves. You should not need to add any water as the leaves themselves will be moist from the soaking. Cook slowly over low heat in a covered pan, stirring occasionally if you find the potatoes are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Shortly before the potatoes are fully cooked, cut up the whole red chillies and throw them in. This dish doesn't have a gravy. When it is finished the potatoes will be cooked through and the fenugreek leaves should be clinging to them. Delicious with plain parathas as a simple lunch or accompanying other dishes at a main meal.

Cabbage Roll-Ups
from RawFoodLife

1 large cabbage leaf
1/2 avocado, cut in chunks
2 olives, chopped Lentil, pea and/or
fenugreek sprouts
Lemon juice
Liquid Aminos
Dulse flakes
Slivered red pepper

A cabbage leaf makes a great “sandwich” for any filling. Soft-ening the cabbage makes it easier to roll the filling up in it. Any guacamole, paté or salad recipe would be delicious stuffed in a cabbage or lettuce roll. Soften the cabbage leaf by putting it in a dehydrator for 10 minutes or dipping the whole leaf in hot water until soft; set aside. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with a fork and add the olives, sprouts, lemon juice, Liquid Aminos and dulse to taste. Place the mixture on the cabbage leaf. Top with red peppers, sprouts and any other vegetables you have on hand; roll up and enjoy.

Erika’s Mid-morning Breakfast Delight
from PowerOfRaw

3 tbsp sprouted buckwheat
3 tbsp sprouted quinoa
1 tbsp sprouted fenugreek, or as desired
1 tsp cinnamon, freshly ground
1/2 tsp cardamom, (green pods) freshly ground or 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (optional)
1/2 apple or pear, finely cubed
1 handful of chopped sunflower sprouts or coarsely chopped sorrel, foraged wild greens such as lambs quarters, dandelion,

purslane. I love sorrel from my garden; it has a lovely tangy flavour. Place all ingredients into a bowl, cover with almond or nut milk (recipe below). You can also add fresh or frozen berries. Add freshly ground flax seed (I use a coffee grinder to grind my flax seeds). Begin with 1/2 tablespoon, then slowly, over the next few days, increase to 2 tablespoon a day. I grind my flax seeds at the very last, when ingredients are in by breakfast bowl, to assure freshness.


Harmonia said...

I have never made Garam Masala with Fenugreek...maybe I should. Thanks! I have been trying to figure out what to do with fenugreek...thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Swiss Chard would work nicely, too! ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh I love fenugreek, and thank you thank you thank you for the recipes. I haven't eaten much Indian-style food lately, so this is great.

Martin Hamburger said...

Only in materialistic, self-centered America could people be so picky about food while a whole continent is starving.

Thanks for the recipes, though. Yum.

Green Earth said...

Your wonderful food always makes me feel so hungry, best wishes, The Artist

Jackie said...

Yes Martin it is a shame that there are so many cattle bred to make burgers that they eat all the cereals that could feed the starving of the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy I can post here again! I was locked off from commenting for awhile there.

I love your blog and all the info you pack in here. I learn so much about cooking, nutrition and all these great herbs and spices! Fenugreek is new to me, although I see it in lots of recipe books. I want to try it now since you demystified it for me! Thanks so much!!!

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