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.