Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi, Menthulu)

Fenugreek Seeds (Menthulu, Methi)

The one flavor category that is fading away from our meals today is the “bitter” flavor. The bitter taste category is considered to be one of the most healing and cleansing tastes by Ayurveda. Use of fenugreek seeds in traditional tadka is a good way to incorporate the bitter taste once in a while.

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a member of the pea family. Fenugreek plant is an annual with yellowish-white flowers and its pods contain 10-20 seeds. The common method of harvesting is to uproot the whole plant, allow them to dry in the Sun and then remove the seeds by threshing.

Whole fenugreek seeds have no aroma but once ground, they release flavor and sharp, spicy aroma. These seeds are very high in protein. 3.5 ounces (100 gms) of uncooked seeds supply 23 gms of protein. This is almost equivalent to the amount of protein found in a 3 -3.5 ounces serving of meat, fish or poultry.

Fresh Fenugreek, Menthi Kura, Methi
Fresh Fenugreek Leaves (Menthi Kura, Methi)

Methi (Fenugreek) Sprouts
Fenugreek Sprouts (Methi, Menthula Molakalu)

Fenugreek seed sprouts are used in salads. These sprouts are rich in iron and phosphorous. Juice from the sprouts is considered a cleanser of the kidneys and bladder.

In Maharashtra, we make an interesting pickle with methi sprouts, called Methi-Mirchi. This pickle stays good just for one to two days .

¼ cup fenugreek sprouts
1 Green Chilli – slit in middle and then cut into small pieces
2 tsp Mustard seeds
Pinch each – Asafoetida and turmeric
1 Lemon and salt to taste

Heat oil. Add mustards seeds, asafoetida, and turmeric. When mustard seeds start to pop, then add fenugreek sprouts and green Chilli. Mix well. Take off the heat. Add salt to taste and squeeze lemon juice. This pickle has a great combination of bitter, spicy and sour tastes.

Methi-Mirchi Pickle ~ From Anjali's Kitchen
Methi-Mirchi Pickle ~ From Anjali’s Kitchen

Fenugreek seeds are antiseptic and warming. It also has expectorant qualities and is used to ease coughs and sore throat. Fenugreek tea is used as a Blood builder and cleanser.

To make fenugreek tea – bruise 2 tablespoons of seeds. Add four cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Add honey or lemon to flavor.

One of the five spices in Panch phoran is fenugreek seed. They are also added in curry powder, sambar powder and essential picking spice. It’s a very common practice for most of us to add a few fenugreek seeds to tadka when making everyday dal.

Dal-Methi with fenugreek seeds is a common dal among us Maharashtrians. I make this dal at least 2-3 times a month and it’s a good way to introduce fenugreek seeds to kids.

To one cup toor dal, add two to three teaspoons of fenugreek seeds and two cups of water. Pressure-cook to soft. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, turmeric, green chilli and asafoetida. Add the toor dal-methi mix. Cook for two minutes. Season with salt and cilantro. Serve with roti.

Ingredients for Dal-Methi ~ from Anjali's Kitchen
Ingredients for Dal-Methi ~ from Anjali’s Kitchen

Ah! And how can we talk about fenugreek seeds and not talk about Fenugreek Seed Laddu (Methi Laddu)? Considered to be good for health and winter warmers, methi laddus are consumed in winter season to ward off cold, cough and fever. Here is a simple methi laddu recipe from Bawarchi.

It’s also a common practice in many parts of India to give methi laddu to the lactating mothers. I had these laddus after my daughters birth and many who have tasted these laddus would agree with me that they do not bring out the “hmm…” feeling. But Lakshmi Ammal of “Cook Food and Serve Love” has come up with an interesting Sweet Fenugreek Pongal. I wish I knew about this pongal eight years back.:) (Since fenugreek seeds are considered a uterine stimulant, they are avoided during pregnancy.)

Packed with protein and punch, and with so many benefits, it’s no wonder that the tiny fenugreek seeds have earned a very respectable place in our Indian spice box.

~ Guest Article by Anjali Damerla of Supreme Spice


If you have questions about fenugreek seeds, please post them in comments section. Anjali would be glad to answer them for you. Thanks.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Anjali Damerla,Indian Ingredients,Menthi Kura(Fenugreek),Methi, Kasuri Methi (Thursday October 4, 2007 at 6:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (44)

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44 comments for Fenugreek Seeds (Methi, Menthulu) »

  1. Hello.
    Let me be the first to say..”Yet another Excellent post!!” Indira/Anjali – you both are inspiring us to new ways of cooking. Whenever I put popu/tadka – I just can’t but appreciate the “goodness” going into it 🙂

    Comment by Aparna — October 4, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  2. Anjali & Indira,

    Thank you so much for the detailed information on fenugreek. Your detailed research saved me lots of my own research time in finding out about an herb that is unfamiliar to me. It will definitely be used more often in my own cooking.

    Your idea of making a tea sounds good too. It seems that steeping rather than boiling would be the way to make a cup of tea using the leaves.

    The seeds, sprouts or fresh leaves probably have the most nutrition, however I only have access to the dried leaves. Is there any significant difference between the dried leaves and seed, sprouts or fresh leaves?

    Thanks again and with much appreciation to all your good works.


    Comment by Nora — October 4, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

  3. Hi Anjali/Indira,
    I do make sprouts of various pulses at home. Fenugreek sprouts is new to me. I shall try sprouts and the pickle given by you


    Comment by Jayasree — October 4, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

  4. Hi Indira,
    I use fenugreek seeds in whatever dishes I can use,I will..!!But do no these informations you have given..!!Thanx for Sharing!!

    Comment by Rajeswari — October 4, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  5. Oh yes, i remember my grandma( nanamma ) used to add some methi seeds when cooking plain toor dal( mudda pappu ), I think she said its good for digestion

    Comment by Kalva — October 4, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

  6. I agree – methi sprouts are among the best out there. I’ve often thrown them into a salad with a dash of spiced lemon juice – they absorb flavors beautifully and still retain their crunch.

    Thanks for the post!

    Comment by Kaykat — October 5, 2007 @ 12:01 am

  7. Hi Nora,
    Fenugreek seeds and sprouts differ in a lot of ways. First of all, sprouts are easy to consume and digest(because of the increased water content). And sprouts are less bitter too 🙂
    I found this very informative site that gives detailed info abt protein and mineral contents in sprouts.

    Comment by Anjali Damerla — October 5, 2007 @ 6:40 am

  8. Indira,

    What does “kura” really mean ? It seems to be used in different contexts. Does it mean greans or curry ?

    Comment by shailu — October 5, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  9. Wow..lovely post and very informative too.

    Comment by Pooja — October 5, 2007 @ 9:41 am

  10. Indira,

    This is a must try, mirchi and methi what can be better than this,never sprouted methi should give it a try

    Comment by sreelu — October 5, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  11. I always like to use these fenugreek seeds in my cooking. I like methi seeds dosa, where ratio of rice is same as methi seeds. It has a strong taste but it can be eaten once in a while.

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Comment by Kumudha — October 5, 2007 @ 11:35 am

  12. As always, your posts have good pictures and info.

    Comment by Rina — October 5, 2007 @ 11:47 am

  13. hello,
    i have become ur regular reader..ur dishes r amazing..fenugreek r very good also for the health as well as for the diabetic ppl…….u know alumethi is my fav recipes……and the dish u made will surly try…..

    Comment by sumarajesh — October 5, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

  14. sorry for not mentioning my name…….am sumarajesh..the above message is sent by me.

    Comment by sumarajesh — October 5, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

  15. Anjali: I love these spice posts! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    I am a real fan of bitter flavors, and always have been. In addition to the two that every red-blooded American loves (chocolate and coffee!), I also love bitter greens, radichio, bitter melon, fenugreek leaves, etc etc etc…I find myself craving bitter greens like some people crave sweets.

    This is interesting – I did not know you could sprout fenugreek, although it makes sense. Although I’m not very knowledgable about sprouting. I will give your sprouted pickle a try.

    Comment by Diane — October 5, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  16. Hi Diane,
    This sprouted Fenugreek seeds pickle is very easy to make and has a amazing combination of bitter, spicy and sour tastes. Very healthy
    and, if you ask me, a great way to get some Fenugreek in your system.

    Comment by Anjali Damerla — October 5, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

  17. Apart from all the wonderful qualities of Methi
    seeds or leaves, the most important one is its ability to control blood sugar, it has been reasearched that about 10mg of Methi consumed daily in any form can prevent blood sugar problems. maybe one of the reason why you see South Indians using this spice in almost all spicey preperations, infact the Methi Dosa is a fantastic dish, along with Urad& rice(1:3) a liberal quantity of Methi seeds when soaked and ground with the Dosa mix will bring out dosas you would love to eat.
    Than you for the useful info on this site, i am in Saudi Arabia, and i enjoy cooking.

    Comment by Ramesh — October 5, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  18. Hi! I’m just dropping by to let you know about a food blogging event I’m hosting, called “A Vegetarian Feast.” The first round is thanksgiving themed, but broadly it can include any vegetarian dishes that use fall ingredients or sound like something that would be good as part of a Thanksgiving Day feast. I’m trying to get people from all over the world to participate and give their American co-bloggers great ideas for Thanksgiving – if you have any questions about what a “traditional” thanksgiving meal entails feel free to ask. If you’re interested in participating or mentioning the event on your blog, you can find details here. Thanks!

    Comment by Judith — October 7, 2007 @ 6:12 am

  19. […] Guest blogger Anjali extols the virtues of Fenugreek on Mahanandi Packed with protein and punch, and with so many benefits, it’s no wonder that the tiny fenugreek seeds have earned a very respectable place in our Indian spice box. […]

    Pingback by Fenugreek | DesiPundit — October 7, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

  20. came here from desipundit. Loved the post, and while i use methi seeds in cooking all the time (mostly in tadka) i did not know about the sprouts. am off to soak some now! 🙂

    Comment by the_girl_from_ipanema — October 7, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

  21. hi. i am currently residing in lagos-nigeria . i love to cook and have been an avid follower of your blog. i simply love the recipes, the exceptional photography and your darling cat Kittaya–i have a few of my own and one is due to deliver any day. i am sharing a typical nigerian ,easy and tasty dish with you–Jollof Rice.all local foods are non-vegetarian so i have omitted the chicken-the recipe is otherwise absolutely an original-it tastes nice–.Saute onions, tomatoes ,carrots cabbage and french beans in litle oil along with salt and red hot chilly peppers till onions are translucent.add a pinch of turmeric,as much rice as you want and veg. stock cubes and water/ veg stock and cook till rice is done–quite dry. sprinkle with pepper,thyme,basil and rosemary.serve with cucumber wedges.nigerians eat very little oil and nearly no sugar and have the most amazing bodies i have seen anywhere in the world –firm and curvy.most of their food is eaten rare with little or no spices and fats.they take 2nd place in fat free diets.looking foreward to a line in reply.

    Comment by sonali — October 12, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  22. Hi indira and Anjali,

    This is a great post! Can you please give the recipe for methi laddu? I am nursing my 5 month old baby and found out my milk is reducing compared to ealier….please HELP ME!!!! 🙁


    Comment by shwetha — October 15, 2007 @ 2:55 am

  23. Your post is lovely as with methi there are limited things that we can prepare …most of us use it only for tadka. In jaipur we also make dana-methi which is sweet to taste…but great again….
    I am a sugarcrafter and would love to share my site with you and do give me your feedback.

    Comment by Swati — October 27, 2007 @ 5:15 am

  24. Hi
    I am 33 weeks pregnant and have been detected with gestational diabetes .Can you please advise whether fenugreek seeds can be helpful in reducing the blood sugar levels .


    Comment by Rohini — December 1, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

  25. Hi Rohni,

    I read in internet that Grapefruit is good to keep your sugar levels during preganacy. please explore some more information on Grapefruit.

    Please avoid Fruit Juices as this contains lot of sugar instead use Fresh Fruits.


    Comment by Shirisha — January 7, 2008 @ 11:56 am

  26. Kindly say some thingh about Methi and ise in diabetics.

    Do you know any thingh about Dodda Paneer or Panerr Doda or Tukme Hayat its uses and side effects


    Comment by Ripudaman Singh — February 20, 2008 @ 3:51 am

  27. I have a recipe for lamb that calls for dried fenugreek leaves, but all that is available within a 2 hour drive are the dried seeds. Can I roast and grind these instead?

    Hello Adam,
    Dried fenugreek leaves are commonly sold as Kasuri Methi in Indian grocery shops. Here is the link to Kasuri Methi (to identify the box).
    Fenugreek seeds are bitter, and do not make good substitution to fragrant dried fenugreek leaves. I recommend simply skipping that step.

    Comment by Adam Walker — February 25, 2008 @ 11:32 am

  28. is consuming fenugreek seed powder safe in pregnancy

    Comment by nausheen — March 2, 2008 @ 4:36 am

  29. hello indira, this is my second time on ur website. first let me thank u for helping me grow methi 🙂 it has come out wonderful…. but now the thing is that i used half the quantity for veggi ..recipe from ur website.. but forgot about the other half… now there are lots of pods with tender methi dana. i have used the leaves and removed the dana from the pods. could you please help in what i can do with these tender seeds.
    Thank you for your time and effort.

    Comment by sheetal — April 3, 2008 @ 7:28 am

  30. To make dosa, I use 1:3 (urad, rice).
    When freshly made, dosas are coming out good but when I put them in tiffin boxes for my kids they are becoming very hard to break even when I’m not making them very crisy too.
    Is something wrong with my proportion or method of preparation? Will methi help softening it and keep them soft for hrs?

    Comment by Aparna — April 24, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  31. Paneer Doda is available easily from any decent Ayurvedic specialist shop. I got them from Yusuf Sarai in Delhi – Jain Ayurvedic. Got 100 gms for Rs. 20 – though in smaller towns its sold for Rs. 125 per kilo.

    You need to drop 10 of those seed like flowers in a glass of water overnight. Filter the water through a sieve and drink it first thing in the morning.

    Paneer Doda CONTROLS sugar but doesnt cure it – I am told so by many.

    Also try 2 highly effective Homeopathy medicines called SYZYGIUM JAMB MOther Tincture and BC-7 Biochemic Pills. Buy Dr. Reckeweg’s medicines only. They are the best.

    Comment by Vishy — June 10, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  32. i think you discovery is great becouse from what i learnt abuot fenugreek is one of the best thing you could think of. but please can you direct me on where to buy the seed thanks

    Comment by ud — July 27, 2009 @ 11:40 am

  33. Is consuming fenugreek seeds in a curry okay when pregnant?

    Hello Kirstin: Yes, it is ok when consumed in small quantities.

    Comment by Kirstin — July 31, 2009 @ 3:58 am

  34. Hi Indira,methi is put in sambhar powder, to ferment idlis and dosas. Please tell me if its safe to eat those while I am pregnant.


    Comment by Pradnya — December 17, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

  35. Hi
    Just curious about one thing which has not been addressed.
    Is it possible to sprout methi seeds all year round? I had tried it a few months back, and was left with a slushy bowl of soaked seeds. Any advice?

    Comment by Aparna — February 10, 2010 @ 5:14 am

  36. Hi Indira, Your blog on fenugeek is very helpful.

    Recently I went to my relatives place. I had proper bowel movement during my stay. I Just wondered what would have cause that. Then I came to know about the secret ingredient they add in every dish that requires curry powder / including dal or sambar

    Home made curry powder (just for ignorants like me)
    1 tbsp Methi powder (Roasted until red and ground)
    1 tbsp Dhaniya pwdr
    1 tbsp Jeera pwdr
    1 tbsp chilli pwdr
    1 tbsp salt

    Mix in the about proportions and add according to your dish.

    Comment by Priya — March 16, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  37. Hi
    I am 33 weeks pregnant and have been detected with gestational diabetes .Can you please advise whether fenugreek seeds can be helpful in reducing the blood sugar levels .


    Comment by shaily pandya — April 19, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  38. Hi
    I would like to know how to get rid of the bitterness of fenugreek.

    Comment by Pem — November 16, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  39. HI,my advice is for MRS SHAIYA PANDYA.
    at present on sb &other doctor advice,she taking herbal medicine in very low quantity. she not taking any tablets to avoid complications. but after delivery im going to take her to SB.its my advice to consult sb when it coms on diabetes.YOU WILL FIND SB MAILING ADDRESS IN NATURAL HOME REMEDIES FOR DIABETES.


    Comment by carol hilton — December 4, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  40. I need fenugreek seeds here in Nigeria how do i get them

    Comment by Pep — December 31, 2010 @ 7:34 am

  41. The sprouted fenugreek seeds are of medicinal use for the diabetic persons. If you mix a pinch of salt and onion plus tomato pieces, and if consumed on daily basis, in early morning without eating anything will surely keep the sugar level in normal stage.

    Comment by SuzieDsouza — April 20, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  42. Hi,
    Very nice blog. Please where can I get fenugreek seeds, I live in Nigeria. I would appreciate any help on how to purchase it.

    Comment by moly — May 22, 2011 @ 8:21 am

  43. Hi ! :))
    I have made the tea from the fenugreek seeds….can I eat them after they have been brewing (soaked in hot water) for making tea. I don’t feel like discharging them as I feel those still could be beneficial.
    Please let me know if it is safe to eat them in this form (just on toast or in salad or already cooked soup)
    Thank you much !

    Comment by Oriana — July 18, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  44. Hello, does this fenugreek or menthi seeds used as body builders and whitening agent. Some people takes this by boiling with milk.what about ur opinion about this mam

    Comment by fathimathirfana — August 11, 2012 @ 6:39 am

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