Fenugreek leaves are an Indian herb, known as methi. Grown from the fenugreek seed, it is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. Fenugreek seeds also have medicinal benefits, namely assisting lactating women to increase their milk supply, increasing the libido in men who took a fenugreek seed supplement twice a day; and, my favourite, in clinical trials, it has been demonstrated that the anti-diabetic effects of fenugreek seeds showed a reduction in blood sugar levels and improving glucose tolerance in both Type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Alternative healers including Ayurvedic practitioners tote the positive effects of fenugreek seeds and fresh herbs. Fenugreek leaves may also be dried, crushed into a fine powder and used as a spice addition in various Indian food dishes.
Growing up in a traditional Indian household, fresh fenugreek leaves were often home grown and used in the cooking of eggs with fenugreek herbs, in a chicken, lamb or lamb mince curry. On meat abstinence days, we had fenugreek leaves cooked with potato or with fresh garden peas. I have used a lean beef mince in today’s curry and at the end of the cooking the home was filled with a refreshing aroma that reminded me of my youth!
The ingredients and method used are a base for cooking a beef, lamb or chicken curry – fenugreek leaves excluded, of course! This was a quick meal to prepare, including preparation time, 30 minutes tops!
|Fenugreek leaves, sold in ready washed bunches|
|De-stemmed Fenugreek leaves, washed in a wire sieve / strainer|
500g lean beef or lamb mince
2 dozen bunches Fenugreek leaves
1-2 tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1-2 cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
1 onion finely sliced
2 green chilli’s (optional)
Sprig of curry leaves
I tblsp garlic and ginger paste
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2-1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 grated tomato
salt to taste
- Add oil to a point, on medium heat, then add the seeds and allow to sizzle for a minute or two, one fragrant, add the sliced onions, green chilli, and curry leaves and braise until are translucent – add the garlic and ginger paste and braise for a further -3 minutes
- Now add the powdered spices and mix well and allow for infusion of spices for about 3 minutes
- Add the washed and drained mince and mix to remove any lumps
- Allow to cook for 10 minutes and add the grated tomato
- Mix well and add the washed and drained fenugreek leaves
- Add the lid to the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes, thereafter add salt and mix well
- Serve with a salad or additional veggies of your choice.