Glossary

Fenugreek seed

Fenugreek seed

Pronounce it: fenn-you-greek seed

A popular seed in Indian cookery, in which it's termed methi, this small, hard, mustard yellow seed has a tangy, bitter, burnt-sugar flavour.

The herb of the same name (see fenugreek herb) is grown from it and is also used in Middle Eastern cooking.

Availability

All year round.

Choose the best

Like all seeds, fenugreek seeds are best bought little and often - that way, instead of having them languish in your store cupboard for a long time, you can buy more, fresher seeds as and when you need them. The best place to buy them is Indian speciality stores.

Prepare it

You'll get more flavour out of fenugreek seeds by grinding or dry frying them. To dry fry, heat up a pan, tip in the seeds and, over a medium heat, brown for a couple of minutes, tossing them around the pan frequently. As the seed's so hard, they're difficult to grind by hand so, for recipes that call for ground, rather than whole, buy ready-ground, unless you have a small coffee grinder.

Store it

Kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, fennel seeds will last for up to one year.

Cook it

In curries, pickles and sauces.

You may also like