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Fenugreek seeds have small, roughly angular, brownish yellow seeds. The seeds have a bitter yet pleasing flavor and potent aroma and are a characteristic taste of curry powders. The pebble-like seeds are often toasted to enhance their pungent aroma and have a powerful bittersweet, somewhat acrid taste, so use them in moderation. Fenugreek seeds are most commonly used in Indian cookery.
Roasted fenugreek seeds Dry-roasting the seeds just slightly give them a nutty taste. Fenugreek seeds should be cleaned and then for roasting, take a pan and heat it. Add the seeds when warm and roast on a medium flame. Stir it occasionally to avoid any kind of burning. Roast till the color changes slightly to light brown. Light roast gives a mellow flavor and dark roast will give a bitter taste. Roasted Methi seeds provides a pleasant flavour and powerful curry scent to the vegetable and lentil dishes.
Sprouted fenugreek seeds Wash seeds and transfer to the plastic beverage cup. Add 1 cup of water. Cover it with a lid. Let the seeds soak in the water for about 12 hours. Drain out water. Rinse with fresh water. Drain out water. Put the lid back on. Repeat this step every 6 to 8 hours for four days. After the sprouts have reached the desired length, rinse them thoroughly and drain. Pat dry with paper towel, and store in the refrigerator till needed.
Alternatively, you can soak the fenugreek seeds for 2hours and then boil them to use in vegetable preparations.
How to Select
Choose the yellow seeds that are uniform and have fragrant. It is easily available in grocery stores.
· Methi seeds, whole, fried or roasted and powdered, are used as 'tarka' - Dals or garnishing.
· It is used commonly in pickles across India and is part of a five spice mixture used in Bengal.
· Add a pinch of ground fenugreek to Indian-style curries, chickpeas, falafel mix, and Indian potato dishes. Fenugreek is a commonly used flavoring agent and food product.
· Soaked seed, used as 'fenugreek berries' at 24 hours of germination, are soft and jelly-like, with a pleasantly mild flavour.
· Eat fenugreek sprouts as a snack, fresh-in-hand, added to sandwiches, salads, juiced with vegetables, mixed with potato salad and other root vegetables; use as a garnish, added to soups, rice and pasta dishes and stir-fries, just before serving.
· Fenugreek sprouts are quick and easy to grow. Fenugreek sprouts on bread and spreads for lunch, and with salads on the evening meal. Do not cook sprouts as they go mushy.
· To make a tea, use 1 teaspoon of seeds to 1 cup boiling water. Strain and relish it with little honey plain or with little milk.
· Fenugreek seeds are tempered in hot oil or are dry roasted.
· Fenugreek is essential to sambhar powders.
How to Store
Fenugreek seeds retain their flavour for years. Being low in moisture can keep for a year or more, in an air tight container, unrefrigerated.
· Fenugreek is one of the oldest recorded medicinal herbs, highly esteemed by both east and west, and has been regarded as a treatment for just about every ailment known to man.
· Fenugreek has a beneficial action on cleansing the blood.
· As a diaphoretic it is able to bring on a sweat and to help detoxify the body.
· Fenugreek also has the reputation as a lymphatic cleansing herb.
· It is a wonderful for stimulating and fortifying the immune system.
· Fenugreek is a practical herb for all mucus conditions of the body, particularly the lungs, by helping to clear congestion.
· It is a powerful antioxidant and it acts as a mucus solvent and throat cleanser, which also eases the urge to cough.
· Even drinking the water that seeds have soaked in and been rinsed with, helps to soften and dissolve, accumulated and hardened masses of cellular debris.
· Use fenugreek for head colds, influenza, catarrh, constipation, bronchial complaints, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis, sore throat, laryngitis, hay fever and sinusitis.
· Fenugreek has been used for peptic ulcers and inflamed conditions of the stomach and bowel, absorbing toxic material and eliminating it; the healing and soothing action, creates a protective coating, like a lubricant, over inflamed areas.
· Fenugreek has helped travellers who have experienced abdominal griping pains and gastric upsets, when travelling in countries where food and water have been contaminated.
· People find that drinking a cup of the tea before meals can bring relief from numerous ailments.