Short Description

Fenugreek, also known as “Greek Hay” is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae.  Trigonella foenum-graecum is the Latin name for fenugreek. They are cultivated as a semiarid crop around the world. The fenugreek seeds are a common ingredient in dishes in South Asia. The plant has three small obovate leaflets.


Language Name Pronunciation
English Fenugreek ˈfenyəˌgrēk
Hindi मेंथी menthee
Tamil வெந்தயம் Ventayam
Arabic نبات الحلبة nabb’at alhulba
Spanish Fenogreco


Available year-round

How to select:

The seeds are easily available in all stores. Try to buy whole seeds to keep them for longer periods. The leaves are also available at most Indian stores.

How to store:

It should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. The fresh leaves have a shorter shelf life and therefore consumed immediately.

Variances and uses

Fenugreek is used as an herb and also as a spice. It gives almost the same flavour. The leaves and seeds both smell like maple syrup or caramel when heated. It tastes bitter like burnt sugar. It is mostly used in Indian cuisine.

Fenugreek Leaves.

f1                    f2

Fresh Fenugreek leaves                                                        Dried Fenugreek Leaves

The Fenugreek leaves are spear shaped and flat. They branch out from a central stem. The leaves are available as fresh, dried or frozen.

The fresh leaves are usually used as leafy greens in curries or also folded into fry breads. The dried leaves are used in the preparation of sauces, curries and soups. Since the leaves retain most of the flavour when dried, they add a great taste to the dishes.

  • It is added in salads
  • It is used to make dishes in the Indian cuisine.
  • It is added as a flavour in dishes.

Fenugreek Seeds


The fenugreek seeds are small and hard. They have a rectangular shape like that of that dried beans. The seeds are usually used during pickle preparation, homemade curry powders. They are usually cooked for a longer period so as to give it time to infuse with the other added spices.

  • The seeds are used in curry powder, spice blends
  • It is used in tea blends
  • It is used in sauces.

Medicinal Values

  • It reduces cholesterol
  • It reduces cardiovascular risk
  • It helps control diabetes
  • It is good for lactating mothers
  • It relives constipation
  • It improves digestive problems




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