Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The magic of fenugreek

Today as I was munching on some chicken tikka masala, I noticed that cutting through the richness of the cream based sauce was the flavor- subtle yet obvious- of dried fenugreek. Kasoori methi as it is called in India, is something that you may not have used at home but definitely it is something that is used in many dishes at Indian restaurants. I highly recommend owning a bag of it and using a tablespoon or so to pep up any Indian savory dish or consider kneading it into naan dough.

Fenugreek leaves come from the same plant that bears the fenugreek seeds, another less used ingredient in the West. Both of these ingredients have medicinal virtues such as reducing blood sugar, lowering bad cholesterol and improving digestion. But please, using less is desirable in dishes if you want them to be edible. If you use too much, you end up with a bitter tasting mess. More on the herb and seed can be found here.

If you can't wait to try out this stuff, visit an ethnic grocer or an Indian grocer. You will find it most often as Kasoori methi. All you need to do is crumble some into dishes before you turn off your stove.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right, fenugreek is the magic ingredient which can make many curries taste "restaurant-style". I always add it to paneer dishes and chana masala.