Fenugreek: an introduction to this lesser known spice

Fenugreek, purepunjabi.co.uk

Fenugreek: an introduction to this lesser known spice

There are many spices, such as cinnamon, cumin and coriander seeds. The ones I have just mentioned are familiar to most people, but there are other lesser know spices, such as fenugreek, which we seldom see in western cookery and would probably never be able to identify it in a dish – by sight or taste.

Fenugreek: an introduction to this lesser know spice.

You can find fenugreek in three forms:

Fenugreek seeds  |  Dried fenugreek leaves  |  Fresh fenugreek leaves

Fenugreek, purepunjabi.co.uk
Dried fenugreek, methi, purepunjabi.co.uk
Fenugreek, methi, purepunjabi.co.uk

The first, fenugreek seeds, are classed as a spice, and the second two are classed as herbs.

What are the 3 most important things I need to know about fenugreek?

1. The word for fenugreek in Hindi and Punjabi is ‘methi’. In terms of pronunciation, the ‘th’ does not make and ‘f’ sound. Think of the Irish pronunciation (tanks, instead of thanks) – a heavy T – so we say methi = mai – t- ee

2. Fenugreek is released through your pores.  When you eat fresh fenugreek leaves, like garlic, the odor is then released through the pores on your skin.  Depending on the quantity and strength of the fresh fenugreek leaves, you will either barely notice it, or wish you could find a way to get away from yourself. If you eat fenugreek seeds or dried fenugreek you don’t really notice any odor at all.

3. The region of Kasoor (also spelt ‘Qasoor’) in Pakistan is a famous fenugreek-growing region. The climate, along with excellent soil drainage, makes it the perfect location to grow fenugreek. You will often see packets of dried fenugreek leaves

How do I use fenugreek in cookery?

The Seeds 

The seeds are perfect for pickles and chutneys. If you like to preserve fruits and vegetables, fenugreek seeds are just what you need – just grind them first. They are often found in mango pickle.  They are also very popular with artisan cheese makers, who often use fenugreek seeds in their flavoured cheeses.

The Dried Leaves

The dried leaves are often used in the fried flat breads ‘parathas’ (prounced parr-o-tah). Mix the leaves into the dough before rolling out the flatbreads and frying them in ghee (clarified butter).

One of the uses of dried fenugreek is in making Punjabi Pakoras/Onion Bhajis. We teach this in our ‘Indian Experience’ cookery workshop:  See our Indian cookery school

The Fresh Leaves

The fresh leaves are often used in the dish ‘saag’ (mustard leaves).  The original recipe coming from India was mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves and other mixed greens, and not the dish of spinach that it has now become.  Fenugreek leaves really do add a delicious flavour and enhance the dish overall. They are also delicious with chicken.


We buy our fresh and dried fenugreek leaves at Asian supermarkets, where they are readily available.

We use dried leaves in our Onion Bhajis, Fenugreek seeds in our Punjabi Chicken and fresh Fenugreek leaves are used in the original Saag, which changed when our family first came to England, as they could only find spinach, and not Fenugreek and mustard leaves, which are the leafy crops grown in Punjab.

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Customer Reviews

Indian Meal kits, Dinner Kits & Gift Boxes

Customer Reviews

Karen Taylor October 2018

We are having such fun cooking from The Spice Pack Collection and all the dishes have come out brilliantly. The smell is divine and Rob, who is very fussy, is particularly impressed. All our visitors are wowed when they smell the box – we’ve been too possessive to share any with others, as yet!

As a natural therapist I particularly appreciate the healthy aspect of each dish, none of which compromise on taste. Good ingredients freshly cooked makes a big difference.

We’re going on holiday with three other couples in a couple of weeks and going to take the pack with us to cook some dishes together.

Maria M / BBQ Meal Kit Box customer

“We had a BBQ for family and friends few weeks ago and we made the Lamb Kebabs & Coconut & Sesame Chutney and Crushed Tikka New Potatoes & Mango Chicken… We received such rave reviews!! All so easy to make with the spices and sauces all provided for us…food was all delicious!”

Chris & Debs - dinner kit with cook-along customer

“That was so fun…

Thank you for the zoom meet up. That was so fun. We will definitely be up for another. Please send another suitable invite and kit. We are predominately veggies so used the butternut squash version. If this continue the local takeaway will suffer for sure. Again thanks”.

Carol R. dinner kit with cook-along customer

“What a wonderful cookalong…

…The Mango Chicken was delicious and my naan bread actually looked amazing – like the real thing. I feel so successful. Thank you. Looking forward to our next cookalong”.

Pam Brown – dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Thank you so much both…

– the class was amazing and we both really enjoyed the food. It makes so much difference knowing exactly how to do things and that we can make such tasty food which is gluten free. Jeera rice has always been my favourite but many restaurants don’t have it on the menu”.

Sylvia M – dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Thank you so much...
... for a great hour of cooking on Saturday evening. I enjoyed it very much as I have never done anything like it before. The Punjabi chicken was delicious and we had enough to freeze for another time”.

Sue W – dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Well that was amazing…
... the best curry I've ever had and Jxx said it was like being in India ( as he’s spent so much time there with work ) loved the class and so did Exxx looking forward to coming to your workshops…
…and will order some more kits from your website”

Roy P…dinner kit with cook-along customer

“Many thanks…
...for the cook–along workshop yesterday. It was very enjoyable and the meal tasted lovely. As someone who is not a confident cook it was ideal to follow your teaching. I have recommended this to a friend of mine who is very interested in joining the next cook–along. I will definitely be doing it again”.

Ellie Pipe

I highly recommend this lovely family run local company…

... We’ve enjoyed 2 of their meal kits now along with an online cook along to show us what to do. Thank you.

Diane McGillivray

I love them all and would highly recommend…

...If I had to choose one it would be the Mango chicken.