fenugreek leaves

Common name: saag methi

Binomen: Trigonella foenum-graecum

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 flavor. Fenugreek has a strong, pleasant and a peculiar odor.

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.

a mound of dried fenugreek leaves
dried fenugreek leaves

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 peanut allergy and chickpea allergy may have a reaction to it.