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Food glossary

Fenugreek

Fenugreek

Fresh fenugreek leaves are used in salads and dried leaves are included in a variety of Indian dishes where they are also referred to as methi but it is the aromatic seeds that are more widely used in cookery. Both the seeds and leaves have a distinctive curry powder aroma. The tiny light brown seeds are very hard and can be quite difficult to grind at home.

Uses: The seeds are used in a wide range of homemade or ready-prepared curry pastes and powders. The leaves are used in a variety of Indian dishes and are particularly good in vegetarian dishes.

To store: Fresh leaves can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Dried leaves and seeds should be stored in an airtight jar in a dry place away from direct sunlight.

To prepare: The leaves can simply be rinsed and chopped. To get the maximum flavour from the seeds, they should be dry-fried before grinding. Fry lightly for a rich, mellow flavour - if the seeds turn a dark colour they will give a bitter flavour. Soaking the seeds overnight in water will make them easier to combine into curry pastes.