the bitter pill – fenugreek

Fenugreek isn’t the most popular herb but it is one of the oldest cultivated plants. With a distinctive bitter flavor, the dried leaves are used as herbs, the seeds as spice and the fresh leaves are used as a vegetable in Indian cooking.

tikkaway-methi

Fenugreek, called Methi (pronounced: may-thi) in India, is something you either love or hate. Unseen, it is added into curries and sauces to bring out flavors that one wouldn’t attribute to this slightly unsightly dried herb. It can also be worked into dough to flavor flat breads. The fresh fenugreek leaves are more popular as a vegetable in the Northern parts of India. The seeds are also eaten as a vegetable – soaked and cooked as a curry, retaining the bitter tang but refreshing the palate. In Southern India, fenugreek is mainly used as a spice.

Popular in the Egyptian, Ethiopian, Turkish, Persian Indian & Pakistani cuisines, Yemenite Jews use it as a staple in the New Year and Rosh Hashana ceremonial meals. Regardless of how it is used, Fenugreek has a long history of being a super herb / spice. While there aren’t any specific scientific studies on it, fenugreek helps with Insulin & Blood sugar regulation. Lactating and breastfeeding mothers are given fenugreek to help with increased milk production. It is a powerful detoxifier and helps with overall body cleansing. Fenugreek seeds and leaves are used as a paste as a face and hair mask.

Fenugreek is easy to grow. A handful of seeds in some soil and very soon you have a crop of lush green fenugreek. The tender micro greens can be used as a salad as well.

tikkaway-methi-trio

Source:

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/the-bitter-marvels-of-fenugreek/article6272292.ece

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/10/spice-hunting-fenugreek-methi-how-to-use.html

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