Fenugreek is an herb that is similar to clover. It is native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and western Asia. The seeds are used in cooking, in medicine, and to hide the taste of other medicine. Fenugreek seeds smell and taste similar to maple syrup. Fenugreek leaves are eaten in India as a vegetable.
Fresh and dried fenugreek leaves can be used to finish dishes like sauces, curries, vegetable dishes, and soups. Fenugreek seeds can be used whole or ground and used in spice blends such as garam masala, panch phoran (Indian five-spice), or dry rubs for meat. India is one of the top producers of fenugreek. You”ll find fenugreek or commonly known as methi in almost every Indian kitchen.
I have not personally used fenugreek in a recipe before but did some research and discovered several Indian and Persian dishes that used the herb. The recipe below is a plant-based version of a Persian Herb Stew called Ghormeh Sabzi that uses fenugreek. It uses mushrooms vs. the traditional beef or lamb version. This recipe is traditionally served on top of white rice but I am sure that brown rice can be substituted as a slightly healthier option. Looks delicious!
Persian Herb Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi) – Plant-Based Style
-1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I substitute with 1/4 cup vegetable broth)
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic
-1 teaspoon ground turmeric
-10 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
-1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh parlsey, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons dried fenugreek
2 dried limes, soaked in hot water to cover for 15 minutes
-2 cups veggie stock
-sea salt & ground pepper
-1/2 lemon, juiced
-2 dried Persian limes (limoo amani); soak in hot water for 15 minutes.
-1 can red kidney beans (or cook from raw beans ahead of time)
-white or brown rice (prepared separately)
-Heat a pot over medium-high heat and add 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil. Add onion and saute for 10 -15 minutes. Add turmeric and garlic and stir for one minute. (for a healthier option, eliminate oil and use veggie stock to sautee)
-Add the beans and stock. Bring to boil then reduce simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered.
-Add spinach, all herbs, and scallions. Stab the dried limes with a knife and add to stew with 1/3 cup of the water the limes were soaking in. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding more lime water if stew gets too thick.
-Separately heat a few tablespoons of grapeseed oil over medium heat in a large skillet (or use veggie broth). Add mushrooms and turmeric and saute 3-5 minutes until tender. Season mushrooms with salt.
-Add mushrooms to stew. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt & pepper. Turn off heat and let stew rest for 15 minutes.