Flavourful fenugreek

Make kadhi, the way the Gujaratis do

Fenugreek is an ancient spice, mostly used in the Middle East, North-Eastern Africa and India, in pickles. Commercially known as ‘methi’, Indian fenugreek comes in several well-known varieties such as ‘Desi’ and ‘Champa.’ The spice is exported in its whole and powdered forms and as oil that is extensively used in perfumery. Fenugreek is the small, yellowish brown, stony seeds from the pod of a bean-like plant. They are available whole and dried, or as a dull yellow powder, ground from the roasted seeds.

Fenugreek is a digestive aid. As an emollient, it is used in poultices to treat boils and cysts. As it helps reduce the sugar level in the blood, it is used in the treatment of diabetes in conjunction with insulin. It also lowers blood pressure. Fenugreek relieves congestion, reduces inflammation and fights infection. Fenugreek is a natural source of iron, silicon, sodium and thiamine.

Fenugreek is mostly used in curry powder. It figures in many mixtures, especially vindaloo and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. It is an ingredient of the Indian five-spice mixture. When fish is curried, particularly strong-tasting fish such as tuna and mackerel, fenugreek is frequently included in the spice mixture. Many chutneys and pickles incorporate it and it gives a tangy aroma to vegetables. The leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in meat curries, dhal, vegetable dishes and chutneys. Now, for a recipe.

Gujarati Kadhi


Yoghurt (preferably a little sour): 2 cups

Water: 5 cups

Gram flour (besan): 2 tsp

Ginger-chilli paste (can be made at home; mix together 1 piece of ginger with 2 green chillies): 1 tsp

Curry leaves: a sprig

Cumin seeds (jeera): half tsp

Mustard seeds: half tsp

(Rye - Indian): half tsp

Fenugreek seeds (methi daana): quarter tsp

Asafoetida (heeng): quarter tsp

Turmeric powder (haldi): 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste

Coriander leaves, chopped: 1 tbsp

Oil or ghee for tempering: 1 tbsp

Method: Beat together the yoghurt, gram flour and water to make a smooth gravy. To this mixture add the ginger-chilli paste. Now heat the oil in a pot. Add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to boil, add the curry leaves and asafoetida. Pour this tempering over the yoghurt-gram flour curry (kadhi). Bring the kadhi to boil, stirring continuously so that it does not boil over. Add salt and sugar to taste. Boil the kadhi for 3-4 minutes so that the gram flour in the kadhi is cooked and does not have a raw taste. The kadhi should have the consistency of a thick soup. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot over plain boiled rice or with roti or chapatti.


Jr. Sous Chef
Taj Connemara

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