Versatile herb and spice in one
I THOUGHT I would continue sharing information about what I call “funky spices’’. These are spices that aren’t used that
often in the Western world and are just starting to make their way into Australian kitchens, via the influence of cooking shows on TV. Fenugreek is both a herb and a spice and is part of the pea family. The green leaves are classified as a herb and smell like
freshly cut hay, while the seed is classified as a spice. The seeds are sweet smelling but in contrast are quite bitter and sharp in
taste. Did you know that fenugreek extract is used in the manufacturing of artificial maple syrup? So while it is essentially a fake product, at least the essence is made with a
spice, a natural product.
Native to southern Europe and western Asia, fenugreek is
used a lot in Indian food, especially curries. It is an important ingredient in the famous Indian spice blend Panch Phora which I posted a recipe for a few months ago. Try this quick and easy Prawn Curry. Very aromatic and very tasty.
Easy prawn masala with fenugreek
INGREDIENTS: 500g cleaned prawns 2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced 2 tbs ghee or vegetable oil 2cm cubed ginger,
finally diced or grated 1 medium tomato, diced 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 green chillies, finely sliced 1 heaped tbs dried fenugreek leaves 1 cup reduced salt chicken or fish stock 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbs garam masala ¼ tsp turmeric
powder lime or lemon juice to taste ½ tsp salt basmati rice and naan bread, to serve
METHOD: Marinate the prawns with the ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, salt, and lemon. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a frypan on medium heat and add one tablespoon of the oil. Add chopped onions, diced tomato and sliced green chillies.
Saute for about 5-6 minutes until onions become brown. Tip into a mortar and pestle and grind into a smooth paste then add the stock. In the same frypan, add the remaining oil. Add cumin seeds and marinated prawns and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the onion paste back in and stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the fenugreek leaves and simmer
until the sauce thickens. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread.
Fenugreek leaves are a herb and the seed is classified as a spice.