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 of fenugreek seeds
All year round.
Choose the best fenugreek seeds
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.
How to prepare fenugreek seeds
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.
How to store fenugreek seeds
Kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, fennel seeds will last for up to one year.
How to cook fenugreek seeds
In curries, pickles and sauces.