Country of Origin: India
Fenugreek comes from the annual plant Trigonella foenum-graecum and is cultivated worldwide for its seeds and leaves and sprouts. The name Trigonella refers to the triangular shape of the seeds of the plant and comes from the greek word ''τρίγωνο'' which means triangle.
Fenugreek seeds are widely consumed by vegetarians as they are rich in iron, B vitamins and also protein. Their taste is slightly bitter and they smell like curry powder but when they are roasted they bring out a nutty taste that resembles maple syrup.
In Turkey fenugreek seeds are essential in the making of ''pastirma'', which is an air-dried piece of beef covered with a thick paste called ''çemen'' made from ground fenugreek, garlic and chili. The Armenians call it ''basturma'' and the Greeks ''pastourma''. In Turkey ''çemen'' paste is sold separately to be spread on bread. Ground fenugreek can also be found as an ingredient in various spice mixes such as in the Bengali five-spice blend called panch phoron, in Georgian khmeli-suneli and in Ethiopian berbere. Fenugreek is a good seasoning for legume dishes such as lentil and bean soups. It is also good for chicken and lamb stews as well as oven-baked potatoes.