Fenugreek for Asian cuisine: in curry or solo
Fenugreek is an important spice in Asian and especially Indian cuisine. The small seeds are found in many spice mixes and often in curry powder. Because they can complement or reduce the aroma of other ingredients very well. The herb also sets accents solo and refines lamb, fish, stews, lentils and Indian chutneys. The South Tyroleans appreciate fenugreek in cheese and bread. In the oriental world, the delicate leaves of the plant are eaten as a salad or steamed vegetables. Fenugreek has also been known for a long time in medicine. Among other things, it is said to strengthen appetite and lower cholesterol levels.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a herbaceous plant from the butterfly family and probably comes from Persia and Egypt. Today it is also grown in other countries such as Morocco and India. The plant develops legumes, each containing around 20 small, light brown and hard seeds. They are harvested ripe and dried. The name comes from the pods, which are reminiscent of the horns of a billy goat.
When raw, fenugreek tastes slightly bitter and pungent, which is due to the aroma substance sotolon and essential oils. A kitchen tip: Before the actual preparation, lightly roast the seeds without fat in a coated pan. Then they become a little darker and develop a caramel-like, slightly nutty taste. Process only the amount you actually need.
If you want to try the exotic spice, you can find it as whole seeds, dried leaves or powder in Asian and health food stores, at the spice dealer and in well-stocked supermarkets. Only buy small quantities because the aroma will be lost over time. Ideally, the seeds should be kept dry, well sealed and kept cool. The powder spices very intensely and should therefore only be used sparingly. Heike Kreutz, respectively