Fenugreek has compound leaves of light green colour 2 to 2.5 cm long, yellow flowers and pointed pods. Fenugreek leaves are aromatic, cooling and mild laxative. The leaves are popular for their aromatic and unique flavour. Fenugreek has a strong, pleasant and peculiar odour.
The fresh leaves can be used in salads or cooked in a similar way to spinach. Both the fresh and dried leaves are used in Indian cookery and have a strong aroma that is typical and evocative of this cuisine. The fresh leaves are called saag methi, and the dried leaves are called kasuri methi.
Most of the recipes in this book called for dried fenugreek leaves, which have a much more intense aroma and flavour. A little dried fenugreek goes a long way.
Fresh fenugreek leaves are available from good greengrocers, and the dried leaves are available from good Indian grocers or spice merchants.
Be aware that some people are allergic to fenugreek, and people who have a peanut allergy or a chickpea allergy may have a reaction to it.