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Fenugreek info Cooking Tips

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Fenugreek info Tips and Information

Fenugreek info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


fenugreek info
methi

Food and social custom are interwovin in India as in no toher country. There are specila foods for weddings deaths festivals and even eclipses. These are chosen for their medicinal or religious
significance and vary from region to region depending on availability and local custom. Fenugreek seeds are associated with childbirth and a new mother is given sugared balls or laddoos of nuts seeds and dried fruits flavoured with fenugreek for a period of 40 days after the birth. Fenugreek is an ancient spice. Papyri from the Egyptian tombs reveal that it was used as a food as well as a medicine.

How it grows
Fenugreek is an annual that grows 30 60cm tall and is very easy to grow in mild climates. It produces thin oval leaves and slender pods which contain about 20seeds each. The leaves are eaten as a popular vegetabe all over India. Even in the West a hot summer is enough to harvest a good crop of fenugreek leaves. Just sow the seeds cover lightly with soil water regularly and let nature take its course. Fenugreek is grown around the Mediterranean Argentina Egypt France and all
over India.

Appearance and taste
Fenugreek the spice consists of small hard ochre oblong seeds. They have a diagonal groove across one side and are about 3mm long. The whole plant has a pronounced aromatic odour and the seeds smell of curry. Fenugreek is one of the most powerful indian spices. The taste is bitter and lingering. Cooling the seeds subdues the flavour.

Buying and storing
The seeds are available whole crushed or powdered. The fresh stalks with leaves are sold in every indian food shop and the dricd leaves called kasun methi are sold in packs either whole or powdered. Fenugreek seeds store well and are easy to crush if roasted. As they are usually used whole crush them as and when needed at home. It is well worth buying kasuri methi it is used as a flavouring and adds a very wholesome touch to meats vegetables and onionbased currles. Store the seeds as well as bsuri methi in dry jars. Use the seeds in 6 months the leaves in 4.

Medicinal and other uses
Ancient herbalists believed that fenugreek aided digestion. Even today the seeds are eaten to relieve flatulence diarrhoea chronic cough and diabetes. Fenugreek contains a steroidal substance called diosgenin which is used in the synthesis of sex hormones and oral contraceptives. The seeds promote lactation. They are crushed and fed to cows to increase their supply of milk. They are also used to keep horses coats glossy. Fenugreek is used in hair tonic and during the middle Ages it was believed to be a cure for baldness. The powdered seeds yield a yellow dye.

Culinary uses
Fenugreek is used to flavour all sorts of indian savouries and some sweets like laddoos. It is an essential ingredient of curry powder and is widely used in southern indian cookery in breads batters chutneys and lentils. The leaves are eaten in a number of ways.

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A very aromatic yellow brown seed spice with a strong navour of burnt caramel. Used in curries.
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