Fenugreek seeds, an ancient spice, with a slightly bitter taste, are small, hard, yellowish-brown, smooth and oblong shaped.The fresh tender green leaves of the fenugreek plant, called methi or menthi, have a bitter-sweet flavor and used as a regular green vegetable in Indian cuisine like dals and vegetables.
Fenugreek seeds can be sprouted, have a slight pungent-sweet flavor and used to prepare salads. The dried form of fenugreek leaves, called â€œkasoori methiâ€, is a popular spice used to enhance the flavor of Indian dishes.
Fenugreek seeds should be lightly dry roasted before using to enhance the flavor of the dish and reduce the bitterness of the spice. The more you roast, the more the bitterness. Adding these dry roasted seeds as it is or in powdered form to a gravy or dal dish lends the dish a tangy and mellow characteristic curry flavor. Soaking the seeds in water overnight, makes them soft and jelly-like and these swelled up seeds can be easily made into a paste.
The six tastes, sweet,salty, sour, bitter, astringent, bitter and hot, advocated by Ayurveda balances our diet for optimum health and nutrition and an easy way to get the bitter taste to our diet is to add fenugreek seeds to our foods.