Bitter is Better: Fabulous Fenugreek Leaves!

Bitter is Better: Fabulous Fenugreek Leaves! Triumphantly, I produced my find of the day, Trigonella foenum-graecum , much like a conjurer hopes to elicit oohs and ahhs for pulling the proverbial rabbit out of a hat. It was a perfect specimen, clover–like leaves of pale green, a few diminutive flowers dusting their yellow pollen on to my veined kitchen counter.

The family was less appreciative. What is that? Are you going to cook that today? My husband raised a dubious eyebrow. He was thinking, no doubt, of the exponential decay from verdant green to liquid mess that still occurred with distressingly short t1/2 despite the two compressors atop our shiny new stainless steel refrigerator. Even those exotically unstable elements like Calfornium 253 or Thulium 167 had enviably longer half-lives than the greens in our fridge. On the defensive, I pretended that I had planned all along to cook them right away. Which was not a bad idea: social media guru Becky Robinson had challenged me to write a blog in 12 minutes, in retribution for my laughing at fellow blogger David Crowley who wrote a blog about writing a blog in under 12 minutes, and this seemed a good enough reason to write.

Fenugreek (“methi”) leaves are slightly bitter, but long prized for their medicinal properties throughout the near East. Indeed, they are mentioned in the oldest surviving book of Latin prose, De Agri Cultura , written by Cato the Elder around 160 BC. The dried leaves are called “Kasoori methi” and have a unique fragrance, while the amber yellow seeds are quite bitter and ground into “curry” spice mixes. Oddly, fenugreek extract is used to flavor artificial maple syrup.

Here it is: Alu Methi or Potatoes with Fenugreek – a simple but flavorful combination, perfect alongside some Indian bread (naan) or pita. A little bit of bitter makes it better . An analogy for life.

Recipe at:

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36 Responses to Bitter is Better: Fabulous Fenugreek Leaves!

  1. Cool. How does it taste? Chutney-like with potatoes? Is it sweet?

  2. Gregory Esau says:

    You can Fed Ex any leftovers to #811 555 Abbott St, Van….

  3. Sarah Green says:

    it looks great!! I want some now… thanks for sharing the recipie! 🙂

  4. Rajini Rao says:

    Shah Auckburaully , the leaves are slightly bitter, lemony with a touch of sweet (I add a hint of sugar at the end to balance it out) and the potatoes make the whole thing mild. 🙂

  5. Gregory Esau says:

    Rajini Rao is Google Plus’s most rock-i-est scientist and Queen geek!!

  6. Rajini Rao says:

    Shah Auckburaully , I have a bunch of 20-somethings coming home today for “cooking lessons”; you would fit right in 🙂

  7. Drooling on the tundra:)

  8. Hitesh Seth says:

    Very nicely written… love allu-methi as well..

  9. Jaz Emminger says:

    Why are you so bitter?

  10. Rajini Rao says:

    I’m bitter-sweet, Jaz Emminger ! 🙂

  11. dora chiabov says:

    Una ratatouille indiana!

  12. Jaz Emminger says:

    There’s a rat chef in Indiana…

  13. dora chiabov says:

    ça ressemble à une ratatouille (en français)

  14. raji alys diffrt from as

  15. J Stasko says:

    wow, i wish i could give a +1000. i’m making this today.

  16. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks, Shinae Nae ! My blog name is a play on “mad scientist” but I like “made me scientist” too 😉 I’m thrilled to hear that you might make this, J Stasko ! You can substitute any of a number of greens for this recipe. Just alter cooking time a bit, if it’s kale or mustard greens (spinach cooks quickly).

  17. J Stasko says:

    Our store Mayuri has everything, not to worry.

  18. RAY CHAPA says:

    These look good, Time to eat yet??

  19. Rick Kawase says:

    ooh 2:00 am in Japan,but this veg pic makes me hungry…look delicious………………

  20. J Stasko says:

    It was spectacular, thank you for the recipe. I didn’t add the peppers but served it with Tabasco at the table.

  21. Couldn’t track down fresh fenugreek so substituted lots of watercress while omitting sugar: another delicious creation from the creative mistress of mad science 🙂 Cheers, Rajini!

  22. Rick Kawase says:

    Rajini,we want more recipes!IIndian cuisine is unique…I love it.

  23. ooh that looks yum! you should do more of these cooking posts 😀

  24. Yum! Glad you took up the challenge and shared this!

  25. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks, David Crowley , hope your big dinner party went well!

  26. I also “pinned” this one!

  27. Yes, Rajini Rao it was fun! Will get a blog post about it up some time this week.

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