Botanical Information

Scientific name: Trigonella foenum-graecum

Family: Fabaceae (also known as Leguminosae)

Common names: Fenugreek, Greek hay, methi (in Hindi)

Habitat: Fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia but is now widely cultivated in many parts of the world. It grows best in semi-arid conditions and is commonly found in fields, gardens, and other cultivated areas.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 323

Total Fat: 6.4 g

Saturated Fat: 1.5 g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.7 g

Monounsaturated Fat: 1.5 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 67 mg

Potassium: 770 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 58 g

Dietary Fiber: 25 g

Sugars: 0 g

Protein: 23 g

Fenugreek seeds are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A and C. They are particularly rich in soluble fiber and non-starch polysaccharides, which may have various health benefits.

Fenugreek has a long and rich history of cultivation and use in many different cultures.

The plant is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region and western Asia, where it was first used as a food and medicinal herb. Charred fenugreek seeds have been found at archaeological sites in Iraq dating back to 4000 BCE, and it is thought that fenugreek was one of the first plants cultivated by humans.

Fenugreek was also used in ancient Egyptian medicine, and desiccated fenugreek seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. The ancient Greeks and Romans also used fenugreek for a variety of medicinal purposes, including as a treatment for respiratory ailments, digestive problems, and inflammation.

Fenugreek was introduced to India by traders and became an important ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, as well as in the country’s cuisine. It is still widely used in Indian cooking today, particularly in curries and chutneys.

In traditional medicine, fenugreek has been used to treat a range of conditions, including digestive issues, menstrual cramps, and inflammation. It has also been used to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.

Today, fenugreek is still cultivated and used around the world, both as a medicinal herb and as a spice in cooking. It is a common ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes and is also used in some traditional medicine practices.

In traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, fenugreek was used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, respiratory problems, and inflammation. In modern times, fenugreek has been found to have a number of potential health benefits, including:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels: Studies have found that fenugreek can help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Managing diabetes: Fenugreek has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, making it a potential treatment option for this condition.
  • Reducing inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of fenugreek may make it useful for treating skin conditions, such as eczema, as well as other inflammatory conditions.
  • Improving lactation: Fenugreek is believed to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers, making it a popular natural remedy for increasing breast milk supply.
  • Relieving digestive issues: The mucilage in fenugreek seeds may help soothe gastrointestinal inflammation and ease symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.
  • Supporting respiratory health: Fenugreek is a natural expectorant, making it useful for treating coughs, colds, and other respiratory problems.

When selecting fenugreek, there are a few things you can look out for:

  • Freshness: Look for fresh, unbroken fenugreek seeds that are still within their expiration date. Older seeds may have a weaker flavor and aroma.
  • Appearance: The seeds should be uniform in color and size, and should not have any mold or insect damage.
  • Aroma: Fenugreek seeds should have a strong, sweet, and nutty aroma. If the seeds have a musty or moldy smell, they may be old or have been stored improperly.
  • Brand reputation: Choose a reputable brand to ensure that you are getting good quality fenugreek seeds.
  • Transfer the seeds to an airtight container, such as a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or a plastic container with a snap-on lid.
  • Store the container in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, such as a pantry or cupboard.
  • Keep the container tightly sealed to prevent moisture and air from entering. Exposure to moisture can cause the seeds to become moldy or stale, while exposure to air can cause them to lose their flavor and aroma.
  • Avoid storing fenugreek seeds in the refrigerator or freezer, as fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels can cause the seeds to spoil.

Fenugreek Recipes


1 cup yellow split peas (or any lentils of your choice)

1 tbsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 green chili, chopped

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

Salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

2 cups water

Fresh cilantro for garnish



  • Wash the lentils and soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fenugreek and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, green chili, grated ginger, and minced garlic. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin powder, along with salt to taste. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Drain the soaked lentils and add them to the pan. Stir well.
  • Add 2 cups of water and stir again. Cover the pan with a lid and let the lentils cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are soft and tender.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice or bread.


4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1 tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  • Add tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy.
  • Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt, and mix well.
  • Add diced potatoes and mix well.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Add chopped fenugreek leaves and mix well.
  • Cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the fenugreek leaves are cooked.
  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

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