Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Fenugreek is an annual plant that has leaves that are three-lobed and triangular in appearance and is commonly used in Indian cooking.
Fenugreek seeds are best roasted to remove its natural bitter flavour.
Plant Fenugreek seeds in spring or summer in full sun. Fenugreek is a good soil improver and can be used in mulch and for erosion control.
It is believed that Fenugreek was first farmed in the near East. It is one of the oldest recorded medicinal herbs and was used by the Egyptians for embalming.
In history, Fenugreek seeds were used to make yellow dye and dried leaves were used as an insect repellent in grain storage.
Fenugreek has been used in herbal medicines for its ability to cleanse the blood. It is used in medicines for the treatment of head colds, asthma, hay fever and sinusitis.
Other medicinal uses throughout history include headaches, anorexia, mood swings, to lower cholesterol and sugar cravings.
Facts About Fenugreek
Ground Fenugreek seeds are commonly used in Indian, North African and Middle Eastern dishes. Add the ground seeds to chutneys, curries, pickles and vegetables. Fenugreek sprouts, leaves and micro greens can also be used in curries and salads.
What other products also contain Fenugreek?
Lightly roasting Fenugreek seeds releases a nutty, sweet maple-syrup-like flavour. For this reason, roasted Fenugreek seeds are often used to flavour commercial maple syrup, vanilla essence, lollies, butterscotch, caramel, ice creams, soft drinks and coffee substitutes.