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I’m having a hard time with fenugreek.

I have Fenugreek powder, and every time I use more than just a tiny pinch it totally overpowers my curry. Should I be using methi leaves instead? The only dish I’ve had success with using Fenugreek is my Saag Paneer; and even then it was pushing it with the Fenugreek flavor.

Am I not blending the spices right? If I don’t use any it seems like something is missing, and if I use any at all it usually ruins the whole dish.

Are there different types of Fenugreek? Should I just stop using this powdered stuff? Am I maybe combining spices that shouldn’t be combined?

11 thoughts on “I’m having a hard time with fenugreek.

  1. Either the leaves, toasted, or the whole seed (which is also good toasted). Fenugreek is often whole, used as a tarka in spice blends like Panch Phoran, and has a lovely crunch. It’s counterintuitively less intense when whole; less of the spice is exposed to the cooking fat so the flavors don’t infuse into the whole dish.

    Also you can control it better if you buy whole and grind yourself, who knows what else is in that powder!

  2. Seeds and leaves have different flavours – in the same way that green coriander leaves (cilantro) tastes different to coriander seeds. Use whole fenugreek seeds rather than powders, as powders are often adulterated with other substances that can spoil the taste. Also, fenugreek is usually toasted or fried before use, so if your powder has been over-heated by the manufacturer it will be very bitter.

    If the recipe asks for powder, it will usually be in conjunction with other spices, and you can grind them together with mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

    Edit: This is a really good article, and it explains that powders can cause problems

  3. I’ve never used powder. See if you can get the dried leaves. Crush them in your hand before putting them in, it takes a lot for them to overpower your dish so it should work for you.

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