Learn what Kasoori Methi is and how to use it in your cooking
In this article
- What is Kasoori Methi?
- Where does it come from?
- What is the flavour of Kasoori Methi?
- How to use it
- Recipes using Kasoori Methi
- Health benefits
- How to prepare Kasuri Methi leaves
- Substitutes for Fenugreek Leaves
What is Kasoori Methi?
Kasoori Methi, also known as Fenugreek Leaves, are obtained from the Fenugreek plant which derives from the legume family. The leaves and fruit are harvested from the plant and dried for use in cooking. The fruit is used for its seeds that are extracted and dried to add a pungent flavour, and the leaves are used as a herb in cooking, similar to how we use basil, sage, or thyme leaves etc.
‘Methi’ is the Indian name for Fenugreek and ‘Kasuri Methi’ in English translates to ‘Dried fenugreek leaves’.
Where does it come from?
Widely used in India, North Africa, and the Middle East, Kasoori Methi was actually first discovered in the Kasur region of Punjab (which is now a sector of Pakistan), dubbing it ‘Kasoori’ after its land origins.
What is the flavour of Kasoori Methi?
These dried, fragrant leaves are light-green in colour, and nutty, savoury, and slightly bitter in taste. Its aroma is pungent and strong on the nose, however, when added to dishes, its flavour disperses and blends through seamlessly and mellowly. Used in highly aromatic dishes like curries of India, slow-cooks and tagines of North Africa, and tangy yoghurt and hummus dips of the Middle East.
How to use it
- Use as a flavour and aroma enhancer in dishes as you would other dried herbs – basil, thyme, etc.
- Grind gently in a mortar and pestle to make a powder
- Add into the beginning of dishes to bloom their flavour and integrate throughout, or sprinkle on top for a finishing aromatic garnish
- Garnish over flatbread before baking for a great side accompaniment to a curry
- Use to fragrance your rice
- Add a pinch at a time and taste and smell as you go before adding more
- Bloom in a warm pan before using to release their volatile oils
- Best teamed with legumes like chickpeas, red kidney beans, and lentils
- Pairs well with pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
- Matches best with meats like chicken, lamb, and beef, as well as seafood and fish
Recipes using Kasoori Methi
High in fibre, Kasuri Methi can be used to ease digestive ailments like constipation and indigestion. This too helps the body to prevent cholesterol absorption by cutting down fatty acids within the body.
By aiding in digestion, the fibre content of Fenugreek leaves also helps with maintaining a good metabolism and thus, weight loss.
How to prepare Kasuri Methi leaves
- Harvest the leaves when they’re ripe and ready – their texture will be plump and firm and their colour a vivid, bright green.
- Sort through the methi leaves, discarding of any rotten or dead ones
- Wash them well, removing any dirt or impurities
- Shake them well, wicking away all the moisture, and chop them finely
- Lay your leaves out on a clean, dry tea towel and cover with another lightweight cloth or towel
- Place them in a safe place in the direct sun and allow them 2-3 days of full-sun exposure to dry out
- Rub the leaves between your clean, dry hands to create a powder and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months
Substitutes for Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek/Kasuri Methi has a wonderfully unique flavour, however, if you can’t get your hands on it, there are a few things you can sub in to get that savoury, nutty, bitter flavour:
- Chopped mustard greens
- Chopped fresh celery leaves
- Watercress leaves
- Fennel fronds
- Pinch of curry powder
Fenugreek leaves, also known as methi leaves, are obtained from the fenugreek plant, which is a member of the legume family. The dried and highly aromatic leaves have a pale green colour and a bitter and nutty taste. They are widely used in India, North Africa and Middle East.$3.45