Fenugreek Seeds – A brief Introduction, Scientific Name – Trigonella foenum-graecum, Fenugreek seeds (Methi dana) are the fruits of fenugreek plant; used for culinary as the spice, sometimes nutritional ingredient and at times taste enhancer.
Fenugreek seeds are used as the medicinal ingredient since ancient times and till date in many traditional medicines. Fenugreek plant is a winter plant and can adhere to cold atmosphere and cultivated worldwide.
Fenugreek is also good fodder for animals and fed to fish and rabbits.
The Taxonomy Of Fenugreek Seeds
The English name of fenugreek seeds derived from the Latin names faenum Graecum which means ‘Greece Hay.’
The name Greece Hay is derived from the history of its usage. Fenugreek plant was used to feed animals so the name. Fenugreek was used to cover the fungus and rotten smell of animal fodder.
Details About The Taste And Aroma Of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek smells bitter and over-caramelized sugar while cooking. The seeds taste bitter when chewed alone. The bitterness of fenugreek seeds lightens on roasting it.
Fenugreek seeds are bitter but if used in proportion and at right timing; it enhances the taste of the dish in which it added.
Let Us Check Out The List Of Culinary Uses Of Fenugreek Seeds
# Used In Pickles: Fenugreek brings a good taste in pickles when added. Fenugreek seeds are deep fried in oil before mixing in the unripe mango pickle; frying reduces the bitterness of seeds.
# Tastes Good In Salad: Fenugreek seeds are soaked and sprouted which can be used in salads, sandwich, some Sabzis to increase the nutrients of the dishes.
# Soups: Fenugreek seeds are crackled in the butter or oil to make soups of tomato, spinach, carrot or mix veggie. It gives a characteristic aroma and taste to the soups.
# Dal Tadka: Fenugreek seeds are added to Tadka-Dal in Indian cuisine to make it healthy and tasty. Fenugreek seeds are crackled in oil with other spices like dry red chili pepper, cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and the little bit of asafetida to give a Tadka to Dal making it spicy and delectable to eat with steamed rice or Jeera rice or even Sabzi-Roti.
# Used In Curries: Whole fenugreek seeds are used in cooking curries in the same way as Dal-Tadka. Sometime fenugreek seeds powder is also used in curries and Sambar.
# Fenugreek Seed Tea: Fenugreek seed tea is very healthy for the human body. The tea is made by boiling a tsp of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water. Strain out the fenugreek seeds from water and add some honey and relish with an aromatic, tasty and healthy tea. You can also add some milk as per wish to the tea.
# Healthy Winter Laddoo: Fenugreek seeds are roasted and ground with other dry fruits like almonds, pistachios, edible gum, dry dates, cashew nuts, and walnut. A good proportion of powdered sugar or jaggery and clarifies butter is mixed with all the dry fruit powder to make tasty, Laddoos. These Laddoos are very healthy and warm during chilly days of winter to make bones strong.
# Fenugreek Seed Halwa: Fenugreek seeds Halwa is also a popular winter recipe which is gulped in the early morning hours of the day. It is cooked exactly the way as semolina Halwa only the difference is semolina is replaced with fenugreek seeds powder and some wheat flour.
# An Ingredient In Idli Batter: South Indian delicacies like Idli, Dosa are cooked with batter which is made up of soaking rice, buskined black gram and one or two tsp of fenugreek seeds.
The Nutrient Content Of Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are very healthy containing a rich source of minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium and other minerals. Fenugreek seeds provide a rich source of vitamin B and dietary fiber.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Such Bitter Seeds
# Fosters Milk In New Mom: Fenugreek seeds are used to stimulate glands to produce more milk in new moms who are worried about low milk supply to babies. Consumption of fenugreek seeds effects within 24 hours producing good milk acting as the galactagogue.
# Regulates Blood Sugar Level: Fenugreek seeds are effective in diabetic conditions. Fenugreek seeds stimulate insulin to control blood sugar level in blood.
# Good Digestion: Fenugreek seeds are useful for good bowel movements making food digestion easy reducing the problem of constipation. Fenugreek seeds also help in reducing cholesterol in the blood which reduces the chances of artery thickening and stroke.
# Keeps Younger: The anti-oxidants present in a blood fight against the free radicals in the body. These free radicals are responsible for the deterioration of the body cells.
# Makes Blood To Flow During Menses: Ladies having poor blood flow during menses can regulate it by consuming fenugreek seeds in the diet as these seeds are hot.
# Useful For Men With Low Libido: In decreased libido, fenugreek seeds can be helpful when consumed.
When Human started using the Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are assumed to be originated in the Middle East region, but there is no description found about its domestication. Charred fenugreek seeds are found in Tell Halal, Iraq dated 4000 years BC.
Tutankhamen tomb provides evidence of fenugreek seeds which dated back to the Bronze Age.
In the first century AD, Romans used fenugreek seeds to flavor their wines. Fenugreek seeds were grown as staple food in Galilee as records are found in the book ‘The Wars of the Jews’ by Josephus.
What Atmospheric Conditions Should Be Present To Grow Fenugreek Plant And Yield The Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are obtained from the pods of fenugreek plants which are commercially grown in Argentina, Nepal, India, Morocco, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, and Spain.
The fenugreek plant grows well in moderate cool temperature, should not form frost. Fenugreek plant can sustain frost in early growing days, but flowering and forming pods can get damaged if frost not clear.
The clear atmosphere without any humidity or water content is favorable for fenugreek plant full growth.
Loam or loam sandy soil is best for the growth of fenugreek plant growth. The soil should contain manure in rich amount and good drainage system.