Eaten by Assyrians and Tutankhamun
Fenugreek, also known as Methi, is one ancient herb. It was cultivated by the Assyrians and its seeds were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. It was also used in early times as horse fodder.
Although I don’t usually get involved in the health side of culinary herbs, recently science has been looking at the compounds in the seeds for its anti-cancer potential. Also on the health side, a customer recently told me that they used a small bag of Fenugreek seeds to clear their sinuses and enhance their breathing. That can be an issue here in the Ohio Valley. So, I tried it. I would take a deep breath inhaling the aroma of the Fenugreek seed. This was followed by a deep breath of fresh air. I repeated this three times (trying hard not to hyperventilate). At the very least, I felt like I was breathing better. One other interesting medicinal use for Fenugreek is to increase milk production in nursing mothers.
The leaves, which have a high vitamin, mineral and iron content, are cooked as vegetables, mainly in India. The leaves have a nutty almost smoky smell and are great in savory dishes like beef stews and pot pies. Seeds are sprouted as salad vegetables, and used as a flavoring and condiment in northern African, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Egyptian and Indian cuisine. Fenugreek is one of the indispensable ingredients in Indian Five Spice. It is also used in many curries.