The Fragrant Flavors of Fenugreek

The leaves of the fenugreek plant, called methi in Hindi, are frequently used as a fresh or dried herb in Indian cooking, and they can add something special to many dishes. How do you pick good methi? It should have a strong fragrance and some bitterness, "especially if it is good quality," says luckyfatima.

Among Indian preparations using fenugreek, hounds are great fans of aloo methi, or potatoes braised with the herb. "[A] couple handfuls of cilantro and some sautéed onions also perk up the dish," says jen kalb. And AndrewK512 thinks Vikram Vij's marinated lamb popsicles with fenugreek cream curry are "[v]ery delicious!"

Fenugreek leaves and dried limes are key seasonings in ghormeh sabzi, "an incredibly delicious Persian dish," says albaloo, who recommends pricking the limes for extra flavor. "You may see recipes where people attempt to make it without fenugreek," albaloo says, "but they should really know better."

The herb also enhances simple seafood dishes. "I can report that oysters on a bed of methi leaves (more or less oysters Rockefeller but substituting methi leaves for spinach/watercress) are absolutely wonderful," says mshenna. She also enjoys catfish cooked on a bed of methi and spinach.

Discuss: Impulse buy - methi leaf - what to do with it?

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