Fenugreek

  1. Home
  2. Raw Spices
  3. Raw Spices
  4. Épices graines
Fenugreek

Technical guide

Origin Wayanad
Net weight 40 g
Conservation / Utilisation In my cooking, I´ve used fenugreek for nearly twenty years; it helps to structure a flavour in a mix. First you need to lightly toast the seeds in a dry frying pan, then grind them.
Keep in a dry, dark place
Price incl. tax €5.40

Fenugreek grows in the entire Mediterranean region and is rarely used by itself but serves as a base for a number of mixes.

The words of Olivier Roellinger

The taste and the aroma contradict each other: the scent is reminiscent of vanilla caramel or, better, the brown sugar of childhood, and maybe even maple syrup. In the mouth, the taste is slightly suave, astringent and bitter, a bit like an Indian tea or angelica. It´s an intelligent taste that structures a flavour, with notes of celery. In fact it´s the presence of coumarin, a lactone that is found in the tonka bean and medicinal rue, which gives fenugreek its vanilla scent and bitterness. As a result, fenugreek is rarely used by itself but serves as a base for a number of mixes.
You´ll find them in my lobster in its stock; royal rock lobster with a bouillon of squash seeds and sesame; mussel velouté with my curry; and saddle of lamb with the Big Caravan spice mix. More simply, I use this spice in all my fish and poultry stocks, and I like to grind it with coriander (30 ml/ 2 tbsp), sesame seeds (30 ml/ 2 tbsp), toasted almonds (30 ml/ 2 tbsp), fenugreek (15 ml/ 1 tbsp) to make a buttery or creamy fish sauce with the juice of a lime.Another way to enjoy it is to sprout the seeds like soy sprouts on a tea towel which is moistened every day. The young sprouts slightly warmed in butter give off an aroma which is both subtle and deep. You need only place them on a steamed fish.
In a spice mix fenugreek serves the same role: bringing out the flavours of the other spices to create a harmonious whole.

Botanical notes

Its seed comes from a papilionacea, like tamarind - the plant slightly resembles clover which was used as hay under the Roman Empire, hence the name which originally meant "Greek hay". Fenugreek grows in the entire Mediterranean region. The seeds are oblong and bumpy, with a yellowish-brown colour.
This seed has excellent properties for protecting against gastric ulcers, high cholesterol and hypertension. It´s a tonic spice. In Indian medicine, it´s used against premature baldness but for us epicurians and lovers of life, let´s remember that in the great Arab civilisation young girls seeking a husband were advised to eat fenugreek often to bring out their curves.

Story

Thanks to travellers and in particular explorers it conquered India, which adores this spice, and also Argentina. In Turkey these seeds were long combined with paprika and sesame oil to create the legendary pastrama which flavoured and preserved dried meats. In the Persian Gulf they were mixed with cardamom, garlic, green tomato, caraway and coriander to create helbe. In India the seeds are always used in chutneys; they are known as ground Methi and they are also found in all curries.