Saturday, December 05, 2009

A nice spice

Fenugreek is an ancient spice and is mostly used in the middle east, Northern-eastern Africa and India. In egyptian papyri, this spice finds mention as food, medicine and an embalming agent. Fenugreek has a strong, pleasant smell and grows best in well drained soils with low rainfall.

The fresh leaves are eaten as a tasty vegetable and prepared like spinach. Commercially known as 'Methi' Indian fenugreek comes in several wll known varieties such as 'Desi' and 'champa' and is grwon in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The small stony seeds from the pod of a bean like plant are called fenugreek. The seeds are hard, yellowish brown and angular. Some are oblong, some rhombic, others virtually cubic, with a side of about 3mm. A deep furrow all but splits them into two. They are available whole and dried, or as a dull yellow powder, ground from the roasted seeds.

Culinary uses

Dried seeds should be lightly roasted before using. After roasting, they can be easily ground. A small amount will complement many other spices, but too much can be over powering. If the seeds are required as part of a curry paste, they can be soaked overnight to swell and soften, and mixed with the other ingredients.

The major use of fenugreek is in curry powders. It figures in many mixtures, especially vindaloo, and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. It is an ingredient of panchpuran, the Indian five spice mixture. When fish is curried, particularly strong-tasting fish such as tuna and Mackerek, fenugreek is frequently included in the spice mixture. Many chutneys and pickles incorporate it and it gives a tangy aroma to vegetables. The leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in ,eat curries, dhal and vegetable dishes.

Medicinal Properties

Frenugreek is a digestive aid. It is used in poultices for boils, cysts and other complaints. It is used in treating diabetes. It lowers high blood pressure. Fenugreek relieves congestion, reduces inflammation and fights infection. Fenugrek contains natural expectorant properties ideal for treating sinus and lung congestion, it losens and removes excess mucus and phlegm. Fenugreek is a naural source of iron, silicon, sodium and thiamine.

1 comment:

Ayurvedic Treatment said...

Thanks for sharing this nice info. Its really a magnificent information about Spices

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