Bundi, Rajasthan, India
We offer a complete product range of Parsley, Cinnamon, Cumin, Turmeric and Asafoetida
Parsley is universally regarded as the all purpose green garnish. It is by far the most commonly mentioned of herbs in recipes all over the world. Parsley though regarded as a humble herb – inexpensive and usually gracing the dinner table as a garnish. In recent years this simple and plentiful herb has gained its place in gourmet dishes and cooks are depending on parsley to provide flavor, texture and intensity to many recipes. Parsley provides the chefs of France and other European countries a versatile and tasty addition to traditional preparations. Parsley is a bright green, biennial herb having flat or curled, ternately compound leaves which are used as seasoning or garnish. Though there are more than 30 varieties of this herb, the most popular are curly-leaf parsley and the more strongly flavored Italian or flat-leaf parsley. Curly leaf parsley is usually used as a garnish. Many people feel that flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil than what is found in the flat-leaved cultivators. Parsley derives from the Greek word meaning “rock celery” (parsley is a relative to celery). A Brief History Parsley is mentioned by the ancient Romans in the forth century BC. Two types, one with dense crowded leaves the other with open, broader leaves are described. Pliny, in the first century AD writes that there would not be a salad or sauce served without parsley. The Greeks, on the other hand, didn’t eat it. It was considered sacred to the dead having reputedly sprung from the blood of their hero Archemorus. The Ancient Greeks crowned winners of major sporting events with wreaths of parsley. One rumor had it that you could bring about the demise of an enemy by plucking a sprig of parsley while speaking his name. However, it is used in the Hebrew celebration of the Passover as a symbol of rebirth. In Medieval times revelers placed it on their tables and around their necks to absorb food odors. It was also used as a poison antidote. It was introduced into England from the Mediterranean, where it originally grew wild, in the 16th century and both the plain and curled variety is mentioned by McMahon in 1806 as being in American gardens. Parsley originated in the Mediterranean area and culinary historians have found evidence that it was cultivated in Sicily and Sardinia. The Neapolitan cooks in the Italian Naples maintain that their variety is the oldest and most flavorful. Referred to as Italian parsley, it is known for its pungent stems and is eaten in summer to replace celery. Since parsley is member of the celery family, it follows that its usage is much the same as this first cousin. Hamburg parsley is another variety that is grown for its root. In addition, there is curly parsley and flat-leaf parsley. The Romans used parsley as seasoning and as a curative after those lavish banquets. Hercules wore garlands of parsley on special occasions as did the Greeks, who revered it and wove into a victor’s crown at the Isthmian games. Charlemagne maintained a generous supply of a cheese flavored with parsley seeds. Selection and Storage One should always go for fresh parsley over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Parsley should be chosen based on the deep green in color and the crisp and fresh looking ones. The bunches which have leaves that are wilted or yellow should be avoided. In case one goes for the dried variety, then it is preferable to purchase organically grown parsley since this will ensure that the herbs have not been irradiated. Fresh parsley should be kept in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. If the parsley is slightly wilted, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before storing in the refrigerator. If one has excess flat leaf parsley, one can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place. Curly leaf parsley is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first freezing. Serving Tips There is hardly a savory dish that is not enhanced by parsley. This flavorful herb is used to enhance numerous dishes such as grilled racks of lamb, broiled steak, fish or chicken. It is also commonly used for outdoor grilling of meats, fish and vegetables when it is added to create a delectable crust. Minced parsley is a visually appealing garnish for soups, stew, meat loaves and casseroles. Mixed with lemon rind and minced garlic, it becomes gremolata, an Italian garnish for ossoboca (braised veal shanks). It is a main component for Italian salsa verde (green sauce) for boiled meats and of Middle Eastern tabbouleh (cracked wheat, tomato and parsley salad). Parsley sprigs may be deep fried as a garnish for fried foods.
A Brief Introduction Cinnamon is a small tropical evergreen tree which grows 10–15 meters (32.8–49.2 feet) tall, belonging to the family Lauraceae. The two main varieties of cinnamon are cinnamomum cassia and cinnamomum zeylanicum, grown widely in Sri Lanka, India, Java, Sumatra, the West Indies, Brazil, Vietnam and Madagascar. Its inner bark is widely used as a spice and there are as many as 250 different varieties are found across the globe. Due to its distinct odour, it is widely used as an important ingredient of many mouth watering dishes of the world. The word cinnamon originates from the Greek word kinnámo-mon (meaning spice) and its botanical name ‘Cinnamomum Zeylanicum’, which is derived from Sri Lanka’s former name, Ceylon. People in West Asia were probably using cinnamon by about 1000 BC. In the Bible, it is being described as one of the spices used by Moses. Because of its health benefits, aromatic properties and scarcity, cinnamon was more precious than gold in the ancient world. The commercial products of cinnamon are quills, quillings, featherings, chips, cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil. Its flavour is due to an aromatic essential oil that makes up 0.5% to 1% of its composition. Botanical Description Cinnamomum verum, a tropical evergreen tree, reaches a height of 8-17 m in the wild. It requires a warm and wet climate with no extremes of heat and cold. In an unharvested state, the trunk of a cinnamon plant is stout, 30-60 cm in diameter, with a thick, grey bark and the branches set low down. Cinnamon shrub are grown as bushes. Its leaves are stiffed, opposite and variable in their form and size. The young leaves of the flush are reddish, later turning dark green above with paler veins. The petiole of cinnamon plant is usually 1-2 cm long while the size of lamina is generally 5-18 x 3-10 cm, ovate or elliptic; base more or less rounded and the tip tends to be somewhat acuminate. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color, and have a distinct odor. Fruit a fleshy ovoid drupe, black, 1.5-2 cm long when ripe, with the enlarged calyx at the base. Cinnamon in Different Languages English: Ceylon Cinnamon, True Cinnamon French: Cannelle German: Ceylonzimt, Kaneel Italian: Cannella Spanish: Canela Chinese: Yook Gway Indian (Hindi): Dal-chini, Darchini, Dhall Cheene Sinhalese: Kurundu Tamil: Karuvappadai. History of Cinnamon in a Nutshell Cinnamomum zeylanicum or true cinnamon finds their description as’kwai’ in Chinese writings belonging to the period of 2800 B.C. Its botanical name derives from the Hebraic and Arabic term amomon, meaning ‘a fragrant spice plant’ Egyptians used cinnamon in their embalming proces, besides using them as medicines and aromatic spices In the ancient world, cinnamon was more precious than gold and other valuables Nero, emperor of Rome in the first century AD, burned a years supply of cinnamon on his wife’s funeral pyre — an extravagant gesture meant to signify the depth of his loss Pliny the Elder, noted author, naturalist or natural philosopher of the first century A.D., wrote that 350 grams of cinnamon as being equal in value to over five kilograms of silver, about fifteen times the value of silver per weight Physicians belonding to the medieval period used cinnamon in medicines to treat various problems like coughing, hoarseness and sore throats In the 17th century, the Dutch seized the world’s largest cinnamon supplier, the island of Ceylon, from the Portuguese and established a system of cultivation that exists to this day In 1795, England seized Ceylon from the French, who had acquired it from their victory over Holland during the Revolutionary Wars However, by 1833, the downfall of the cinnamon monopoly had begun as its cultivation was started in other regions like Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Mauritius and Guyana Cinnamon is now also grown in South America, the West Indies, and other tropical climates. Cinnamon Oil Cinnamon oil is prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and then quickly distilling the whole. It is of a golden-yellow colour, with the characteristic odour of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste. The major chemical components of the essential oil includes ethyl cinnamate, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and methyl chavicol. Cinnamon oil possess many medicinal properties and there are many uses for it. It is often used as a stimulant in paralysis of the tongue, or to deaden the nerve in a toothache. It contains three active components of acetic acid and alcohol along with a wide range of volatile compounds that help in a wide variety of symptoms and health conditions. Medicinal Uses Owing to its vast medicinal uses, cinnamon had found a prominent position in traditional medicines, especially in Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India. It has been used in many cultures for treating a variety of health disorders including diarrhea, arthritis, menstrual cramps, heavy menstruation, yeast infections, colds, flu, and digestive problems. Being a rich source of magnesium, iron, and fibers, it is helpful in many ailments such as: It boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic It is helpful in removing blood impurities and is widely recommended by herbologist for the pimple treatment Cinnamon aids in the circulation of blood due to the presence of a blood thinning compound in it Due to the presence of antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, it is highly effective on external as well as internal infections The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon helps in preventing unwanted clumping of blood platelets Cinnamon has been found extremely useful in treating type 2 diabetes It is believed that the calcium and fiber contents in cinnamon provide protection against heart diseases It also improves the health of colon, thus, reducing the risk to colon cancer Regular consumption of cinnamon after child birth delays menstruation and thus helps in avoiding conception Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence Cinnamon is effective in providing relief from menstrual discomfort and cramping. Culinary Uses of Cinnamon It is used in cookery as a condiment and flavoring material Cinnamon is extensively used in cakes and other baked goods, milk and rice puddings, chocolate dishes and fruit desserts, particularly apples and pears It is widely used as an aromatic spice in preparing curries and pilaus It may be used to spice mulled wines, creams and syrups It is a very good mouth freshener and is used in preparing chewing gums to stop bad breath It also finds uses in flavored cereals and fruits, especially in USA. Use of Cinnamon in Religion Besides being used as a spice and medicine, cinnamon is also used for some religious purposes. Some people believe that burning cinnamon in incense will promote high spirituality and aid in healing. Its essential oil is often seen spiritually as used for protection by many people across the globe.
An Introduction Cumin, an aromatic spice known for its distinctive, slightly bitter yet warm flavor. This pale green seed is a small dried fruit of an annual herb in the parsley family. Renowned for its hotter taste, this ancient spice is not only popular in Indian cuisine but also in Mexican, North African, Middle Eastern, and western Chinese cuisines. It matches well with beans, chicken, couscous, curry, eggplant, fish, lamb, lentils, peas, pork, potatoes, rice, soups, stews, eggs, etc. Cumin, as a spice is especially associated with Morocco, where it is often smelt in the abundant street cookery of the medinas. Cumin is native to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt. It now grows in most hot countries, especially India, North Africa, China and the American nations. It is also mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and in the New Testament (Matthew 23:23). It was favorite of the Romans, the Europeans and the Britishers. Cumin…..Botanical Description The cumin plant is an annual herb, with a slender branched stem which rarely exceeds 1 foot in height. The leaves are 5-10 cm long, pinnate or bipinnate, thread-like leaflets which are deep green colour. The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels. Cumin seeds developed from these small flowers that tend to bloom during the summer. The shape of the seeds is oblong with a thicker middle part and laterally compressed tips; each individual seed is about one fifth of an inch in length. *Key Constituents The strong aromatic odor and bitter taste of Cumin fruits are due to the presence of a volatile oil which makes up about two to four per cent of it. This oil is separated out from the cumin fruits by the process of distillation with water. It is limpid and pale yellow in colour, and is mainly a mixture of cymol or cymene and cuminic aldehyde, or cyminol, which is its chief constituent. Cumin…. A Typical Spice Cumin, one of the most popular spices of the world is also one of the most typical spices for India, especially in Southern India. Its fruits are are used as a whole, and are fried (frequently together with onion) or toasted before usage. Legumes, especially lentils, are normally flavoured by cumin fried in butter fat to add more kick to the dish. It is an important part of curry powder and of the Bengali spice mixture panch phoron. In preparing almost all meat dishes, especially Northern Indian tandoori dishes, cumin is an essential element. Cumin when toasted with coriander produces a distinctive smell and is widely used In South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. Culinary Uses Cumin or jeera / jira or zeera, is renowned for its pungent, powerful, sharp and slightly bitter flavour. It is used mainly where highly spiced foods are preferred. As a spice, it is a key ingredient in Indian, Eastern, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cookery. It can be found in some Dutch cheeses like Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is widely used in preparing curry powders and many savoury spice mixtures and matches well with plain rice, and to beans and cakes. Cumin seeds are used to add more flaovour in stews, grills, peas, pork, potatoes, soups, etc. In the Middle East, it is a familiar spice for fish dishes, grills and stews and flavours couscous – semolina steamed over meat and vegetables, the national dish of Morocco. Zeera pani is a refreshing and appetising Indian drink made from cumin and tamarind water. Cumin together with caraway flavours Kummel, the famous German liquer. Attributed Medicinal Properties Cumin seeds also possess effective and very strong stimulant properties. They are widely used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicinal system of India for many remedies. It is valuable in dyspepsia diarrhoea and hoarseness, and may relieve flatulence and colic. In older times, the cumin was used as an herbal remedy for treating colic and dyspeptic headaches. It has been shown to be effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as diarrhea, indigestion, and morning sickness. It shows promising results when used as a natural way to increase breast size.
Turmeric…In Brief From a simple housewife in an Indian family to the hermits in the Himalaya, turmeric is associated with everyone’s lives in some way or the other. It has been used since time immoral as a food ingredient, medicine, herb, coloring agent. It is also popular as medicine popularly used as a part of home remedy, when applied on face it is said to impart a natural glow on the skin. Turmeric is one of the most popular spices of India. Almost in every dish prepared in India, Turmeric is added in it. Further, it is also regarded by the Hindus as something ‘sacred’ for use in ceremonial and religious functions. With so many varied usage turmeric is a popular product all over the world.Several unique properties of turmeric make it an ideal choice as a food flavor. It also finds use in the preparation of liquors, dyestuffs, medicines, cosmetics and toiletries. It is used as natural colorant. The curcumin present in turmeric imparts its distinctive yellow color. In beauty enhancement, women have used turmeric paste since very ancient times. Today, it is widely used for its antiseptic and anti tanning properties. It prevents and cures pigmentation, making skin translucent and glowing, besides smoothening it. It also helps in protecting the skin from water allergy.India is the principal supplier of turmeric to the world markets producing about 1, 00, 000 tonnes of rhizomes per annum. Turmeric Plant Description Turmeric also known by the names of kunyit (Indonesian and Malay) or haldi or pasupu in Asian countries and Indian Saffron in European nations, is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, zingiberaceae. Botanically known as curcuma longa, turmeric is a native of southern or southeastern Asia, probably India. It needs temperatures between 20 and 30 deg. C. and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.Turmeric plant grows uprightly upto the height of 1 meter, having a short stem and tufted leaves. Its flowers are somewhat yellow-white in colour and are sterile and do not produce viable seed. The rhizomes are short and thick and they constitute the turmeric of commerce. These aromatic rhizomes, with a musky odour and yellow colour, are largely consumed as a spice for daily use. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor and has a mustardy smell. Turmeric only reproduces via its rhizomes. History of Turmeric in a Nutshell For thousands of years turmeric has been widely used for its culinary and medicinal properties. In Hindu religious ceremonies, is finds an important space. The following is the brief history of turmeric: It is believed that turmeric has been originated in southern Asia, possibly in India Turmeric is mentioned in the ancient sanskrit writings It is believed that turmeric was probably cultivated at first as a dye, and then became valued as a condiment as well as for cosmetic purposes In the 13th century Marco Polo wrote of this spice Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia, cited in Sanskrit medical treatises and widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani systems Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, dating to 250 BC, recommends an ointment containing turmeric to relieve the effects of poisoned food. Turmeric Powder Manufactured from the rhizome of the curcuma longa plant, turmeric powder is extensively used in Indian dishes, including lentil and meat dishes, and in south east Asian cooking. It adds a warm, mild aroma and distinctive yellow colour to foods. It is essential to curry powders, and it is also used to flavour many Indian vegetarian dishes.* Uses of Turmeric Turmeric has a long history of uses. For centuries, this aromatic spice has been widely used as a medicine as well as a spice. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. In Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India, turmeric is mentioned as stomachic, blood purifier, and is useful in curing common cold, leprosy, intermittent fevers, affections of the liver, dropsy, purulent ophthalmia (inflammation of the eye), otorrhea (discharge from ear), indolent ulcer, pyogenic (forming pus) affections, wound healing and inflammation. Culinary Uses In India, turmeric is an important ingredient in preparing almost every recipe. However, in non-Indian dishes, it is sometimes used as a coloring agent. It matches well with meat dishes and is used extensively in the East and Middle East as a condiment and culinary dye. In Moroccan cuisine, it is extensively used to spice meat, particularly lamb, fish curries, etc., and vegetables, its principal place is in curries and curry powders. Besides being widely used as a spice, turmeric is also used as a coloring agent in many preparing many food items. It also finds application in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes orange juice, biscuits, popcorn-color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatins, etc. Medicinal Properties Turmeric has many medicinal virtues. An analysis of turmeric shows that it consists of moisture 13.1%, protein 6.3%, fat 5.1%, minerals 3.5%, fibre 2.6% and carbohydrates 69.4% its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium 150 mg%, phosphorus 282 mg%, carotene 30 mg%, thiamine 0.03 mg% and niacin 2.3 mg% its calorific value is 349. T. It is used to heal many health disorders ranging from liver problems, digestive disorders to the treatment for skin diseases and wound healing. Since turmeric corrects the disordered processes of nutrition and restores the normal function of the system, it is highly beneficial in curing many diseases. It is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and liver disorders. It is highly effective in curing many diseases including: Anemia Measles Asthma Cough and cold Sprains Skin disorders Pain in chest Dental problems Poison of insect bite. Interesting Facts Associated with Turmeric In Indian Culture, especially in Hinduism, turmeric is associated with fertility and prosperity, and brings good luck if applied to a bride’s face and body, as part of the ritual purification before a wedding. Turmeric roots may be given as a present on special occasions, such as a visit to a pregnant woman. Turmeric powder is also sprinkled on sacred images. The use of turmeric is prohibited in a house of mourning. Yellow and orange, the colours of turmeric are regarded as special colours in Hinduism, yellow being associated with Vishnu, and as the colour of the space between chastity and sensuality. Whereas, the orange colour signifies sacrifice, renunciation and courage.
An Introduction Asafoetida is an extremely pungent aromatic spice obtained from the rhizomes of spices ‘ferula’ or giant fennel. In fact, it is is a hard aromatic resinous gum collected from certain species of giant fennels, plants of the genus ferula. It is available in blocks or pieces as a gum and more frequently as a fine powder, sometimes crystalline or granulated. Asafoetida is commonly used as a flavoring or spice in Persian and Indian cooking or as a condiment to be sprinkled over food after it has been cooked.It is called devil’s dung because of its strong pungent smell due to the presence of sulfur compounds. The word asafoetida is believed to have gotten its name from the Persian word aza (mastic resin) and a Latin word foetida meaning stinking.Besides being used as a spice, asafoetida also possess many medicinal properties. For centuries, it has been widely used for simple digestive problems such as gas, bloating, indigestion and constipation. It was believed that asafoetida enhanced singers voices. Although very reasonably priced today, in ancient times it was a precious and expensive condiment. Botanical Description & Origin Asafoetida is an herbaceous perennial plant growing to 2 m tall, with stout, hollow, somewhat succulent stems 5-8 cm diameter at the base of the plant. It has finely toothed leaves, clusters many white or yellow flowers in large compound umbels and a hollow stem growing from a fleshy taproot. It is the root that produces the spice.A native to Iran, Asafoetida is commercially cultivated in Iran, Afghanistan and parts of India and Pakistan. In India, it is grown in Kashmir and in some parts of Punjab. The two main varieties of asafoetida are Hing Kabuli Sufaid (Milky White Asafoetida) and Hing Lal (Red Asafoetida). Even though most of the world’s production of asafoetida comes from the Middle Eastern regions of Iran and Afghanistan, India is the major consumer of this spice. Spice Description The smell of asafoetida is extremely unpleasant, like concentrated rotten garlic, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks. Its bitter taste and strong disagreeable pungent odour is due to the presence of sulphur compounds therein. It is available in three forms ie. ‘Tears’, ‘Mass’ and ‘Paste’. ‘Tears’, is the purest form of resin, rounded or flattened, 5 to 30 mm in diameter and a greyish or dull yellow in colour. Asafoetida is a hard resinous gum, grayish-white when fresh, darkening with age to yellow, red and eventually brown. It is sold either as lumps or in powdered form. The former is the most common form of pure asafoetida. Powdered Asafoetida has a strong, unpleasant smell, reminiscent of pickled Garlic, which is caused by Sulphur compounds in volatile oil. Culinary Uses of Asafoetida For centuries, it has been widely used as a tenderizer and preservative for meat. Asafoetida was a popular spice in Europe since the Roman times and a much-preferred spice of the Middle Ages. In Indian cuisine, it is used mostly in vegetarian cooking, in which the strong onion-garlic flavour enhances many dishes. It is pretty common among Brahmins and Jains where onions and garlic are prohibited.Iranian cuisine uses it for flavoring meatballs and in Afghanistan it is used in the preparation of dried meat. Asafoetida is also suited to many fish dishes and some pappadums are seasoned with asafoetida. It is also used as a flavouring agent in pickles and sauces. This is a very powerful spice and even in its ground state lasts well over a year if stored properly. Attributed Medicinal Properties Today, asafoetida is widely used as a spice, it also contains innumerable medicinal properties. It was widely recommended as a herbal medicine for simple digestive problems such as gas, bloating, indigestion and constipation in the traditional medicinal systems of the Middle East and India. It is also helpful in respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough. Like garlic, asafoetida’s volatile oil contains components such as disulphides that leave the body via the respiratory system and aid in the coughing up of congested mucus. It also thins the blood and lowers blood pressure. Other Uses of Asafoetida Because of its extremely pungent and bitter smell, it can be used as a natural pesticide In magic and mythology, asafoetida is used to gain insight and to banish all negative energy, evil spirits and demons It is used to invoke male gods, especially those of a phallic nature.
An Introduction Fenugreek, commonly known as methi in Hindi, i s a a plant in the family Fabaceae. Its is one of the plants used both as an herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed). A native to India and southern Europe, this plant is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. The dried leaves (called kasuri methi) have a bitter taste and a strong characteristic smell and are used as a flavouring agent in preparing many dishes, especially in curry. For centuries it has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean and North Africa. Since innumerable, Fenugreek has been widely used as a food and food additive as well as for its medicinal properties. Fresh tender pods, leaves and shoots are eaten as curried vegetable, while seeds are used for garnishing and flavouring variety of food. Ancient Egyptians used Fenugreek to combat fever. In the classical period, it was grown as a cattle fodder and as a soil renovator. The name derives from the Latin ‘Greek hay” illustrating its classical use as fodder. India continues to be the major source and main consumer for its culinary and medicinal uses. Other Names It is known as Methi in Nepali and various Indian regional languages like Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Gujarati and Marathi. Other names of Fenugreek in various languages are: French: fenugrec Sénegré, trigonelle German: Bockshornklee, Griechisches Heu Italian: fieno greco Spanish: alholva, fenogreco Tamil: venthium Telugu: menthulu Malayalam: ulluva Kannada: menthyada soppu Fenugreek Seeds Used as a spice, the small stony seeds from the pod of Fenugreek are a rich source of the polysaccharide galactomannan. They are aromatic, bitter, carminative, galactogouge, antibacterial and may be eaten raw or cooked. The Fenugreek plant produce 10-15 cm long pods which contains 10-20 small hard yellowish brown seeds, which are smooth and oblong, about 3mm long, giving them a hooked appearance. They are available whole and dried , or as a dull yellow powder, ground from the roasted seeds. Bulk of the seed is dietary fiber (50%) and protein (30%) both of which have no taste or flavor. Bitterness is mainly due to the oil, steroidal saponins and alkaloids. Fenugreek Leaves Fresh fenugreek leaves and tender stems are edible and prepared like spinach. Dried leaves, either whole or ground, are called kasuri methi, and they are often used as a flavouring agent in preparing many recipes. They are a rich source of calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). For 100 g of leaves, there is- 86% moisture, 4.4% protein, 1% fat, 1% fiber, 395 mg Calcium, 2.3 mg carotene (mainly beta, 329 IU Vit A), 40 mg thiamine, 310 mg riboflavin, 800 mcg nicotinic acid, and 52 mg Vit C; with traces of Vit K, and high amounts of choline (13.5 mg/g). Culinary Uses For centuries, Fenugreek has been used both as a food or food additive as well as in medicines. The leaves, stem and sprouts of the Fenugreek plant are eaten green as salad. In the Indian subcontinent, it is a common ingredient of innumerable recipes and is used as a herb as well as a spice. Fresh tender pods, leaves and shoots are eaten as curried vegetable. It is a one of the ingredients of panch phoron, the Indian five-spice mixture; idli & dosa paste; and khakhra, a type of bread. For thousands of years, fenugreek has been used as a common ingredient of curry, figuring in many mixtures, especially vindaloo and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. It is a favorite in Northern African and Middle Eastern dishes, and is one of a few spices which is used in powdered form. It is favourite to many chutneys and pickles. Its leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in meat curries, lentils and vegetable dishes. Fenugreek seeds are also used in candy, baked goods, ice cream, chewing gum and soft drinks. Attributed Medicinal Properties For centuries, fenugreek, the rich source of vitamins and minerals, is an important part of herbal medicine traditions of the Middle East, India, Egypt, and China. Being a rich source of iron, silicon, sodium and thiamine, it provides relief in many health complexions. Externally fenugreek is used for boils, eczema , skin inflammations, ulcers, and cellulite . Internally fenugreek is used to treat numerous problems such as gastric inflammation, diabetes in adults, poor digestion, digestive disorders and tuberculosis. The seeds of fenugreek can be used to make tea which is known to increase milk secretion in nursing mothers. Other Uses Its dried leaves can be as a natural insect repellent in grain storage In some parts of North Africa, Fenugreek seeds in combination with sugar and olive oil were eaten by women to gain weight They are still used as veterinary medicines in many western countries.