Fenugreek Leaves

About Indian spices

Fenugreek Leaves

Indian Name: Methi
Scientific Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fam: Leguminosae

Other Names

Bird’s Foot, Foenugreek, Goat’s Horn

French: fenugrec Sénegré, trigonelle
German: Bockshornklee, Griechisches Heu
Italian: fieno greco
Spanish: alholva, fenogreco
Indian: mayti, methe, methi
Tamil: venthium
Malay: alba
Sinhalese; uluhaal

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    Fenugreek is a native to India and southern Europe. For centuries it has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean and North Africa. where it is mainly cultivated. A limited crop grows in France. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to combat fever and grown in classical times as cattle fodder.

    Commercially, it is used in the preparation of mango chutneys and as a base for imitation maple syrup. In India, it is used medicinally and as a yellow dyestuff. It is also an oriental cattle fodder and is planted as a soil renovator.


    Popularly known in the Indian subcontinent as Kasuri Methi, fenugreek leaves are an ancient spice used for flavoring various dishes. The leaves have a bitter taste, but when added to the recipe, titillate the taste buds.

    Apart from the dried leaves, the green leaves and the seeds are also commonly used while cooking. The yellow-amber coloured seeds are added in the preparation of pickles, vegetables, and spice mixes like sambar powder. Fenugreek seeds are available both in powdered and grounded form. The seeds are roasted to reduce the bitterness and enhance the aromatic flavor. The herb is also sold in powdered form or dried leaves form which can be bought and powdered.

    Health Benefits

    May help control diabetes and blood sugar levels

    Effects on testosterone levels in men

    Appetite control

    Cholesterol levels control

    Effects on breastmilk production

    Taste and aroma

    Fenugreek can be used both as a herb and a spice — the flavour is similar in both. The leaves are available fresh, frozen, or dried. Fresh leaves are used as leafy greens in curries, especially with potatoes, or folded into fry-breads. When dried, the leaves retain most of their flavour and make excellent last-minute additions to sauces, curries, and soup. The seeds benefit from longer cooking to infuse with other flavours so start with the seeds and finish with the leaves. This two-stage approach “refreshes” the spice, giving you the best of long-cooked flavour and barely-heated aromas.

    Nutrition Facts



    Fresh green leaves are used while preparing salads. The green leaves are cleaned and dry roasted to be added while cooking. This helps releasing flavor from the leaves. Apart from being used as a condiment, it is also added while preparing starchy vegetables, thick gravies and raitas for flavor. The stem of the plant has a lot of mud, which has to be washed to increase the shelf life of the leaves.