Kasuri methi also known as dried fenugreek is very popular in the Indian subcontinent. It is added to food for taste and aroma. The dried leaves are also used in powdered form. The Kasuri methi has an earthy, grassy and slightly sweet aroma, and have a little bitter taste. It is obtained from the fenugreek plant and belongs to the legume family. We use it in cooking as we use basil, sage and thyme. You can add this to any Indian curry, paranthas, pulao, Dal and many more. It adds a very nice and beautiful fragrance to the food.
Kasuri Methi is widely used in India, North Africa, and the Middle East. It belongs to the Kasur region in Punjab ( now a sector in Pakistan). It can be used at the starting of the dish to bloom the fragrance and also can be used as a garnishing agent. Best teamed with legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils. It goes well with the vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Also adds flavour to meat like chicken, lamb, beef as well as seafood and fish. The leaves last up to six months if stored in a clean jar in the refrigerator.
People often get confused with methi and Kasuri methi as both sound similar, and yes they are similar. Methi is the fresh green leaves of the fenugreek plant and Kasuri methi is the dried leaves of the plant. Both of them are widely used in Indian cooking as both of them give a nice aroma to the food. They are bitter no doubt there but sometimes a little bit of bitter taste is needed in the food. It is also used in dishes that are creamier in taste like malai kofta, paneer etc. to give the dish the right amount of aroma.
It is also added in bread in Indian cuisine like naan, parantha, laccha parantha etc, it is sprinkled on the top of it for better taste and aroma. Kasuri Methi is also added in gravy dishes, raita and plain curd to add a tinge of taste to it. A generous amount of this spice is also added in tadka in dal for a delicious taste. As mentioned in this article it is also used while garnishing different Indian dishes because of its strong essence. In short, without this spice every Indian dish is incomplete.
Kasuri methi can also be prepared at home for a better aroma. You have to buy fresh green methi leaves. Sort them out, take out the bad ones and keep the good ones for further process. Wash the leaves and remove any dirt and impurities. Toss them so that the extra water and moisture is gone and chop them finely. Lay it on a soft towel and spread them out. Keep a lightweight cloth on it. Keep it in a safe place where the sun comes directly on it. Allow them full exposure for 2-3 days for a full dry out. Take the leaves and rub them between your hands making them a powder.
And like that, you can make your Kasuri methi at your home. Not only in cooking but also used for health benefits. It eases digestive ailments like constipation and indigestion. The high fibre content helps in maintaining a good metabolism and thus, resulting in weight loss. This also helps to prevent cholesterol absorption by cutting down fatty acids within the body. This is used in the traditional medicine system Ayurveda to promote digestion and serves many other health benefits. The medicinal benefits include anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal.
Some of the most known health benefits are:
- Gastrointestinal problems: It helps in preventing gastrointestinal problems as it has antioxidants that improve digestion thus reducing the problem. It eases constipation as it has a good amount of fibre. Regular consumption of this spice can solve problems like intestinal inflammation, diarrhoea, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Reducing cholesterol: It prevents the production of bad cholesterol and triglycerides and also increases the production of good cholesterol in the blood. It has a very strong effect on lipid levels thus, reducing the cholesterol levels in people suffering from diabetes and reducing heart-related issues.
- Controlling diabetes: It helps in controlling the levels of glucose metabolism in the body. Regular consumption of Kasuri methi in dal, or curries or anything can help to cure typeII diabetes. It has fibre content which helps in improving the functions of insulin in a diabetic person. As a diabetic person cannot metabolise carbohydrates easily it helps in improving the tolerance of it.
- Prevents respiratory problems: Winter is a very good time to use this spice as it keeps the respiratory problems at bay. You can crush it with your hands and sprinkle it on the top of the dishes you like. It also cures allergies and congestion in the respiratory tract. It reduces chronic respiratory diseases as it maintains the mucus level in the body. It works well as a throat cleanser and reduces the urge to cough.
- Helps in treating skin diseases: The antioxidants in the spice helps to remove the toxins from the body which keeps the skin healthy and free from diseases like eczema. It also solves the problems of acne, sunburn and pimples. It removes the dead cells from the skin and replace them with new ones and keeps the skin healthy.
So, to conclude Kasuri methi can be a real gem in the spice box and can be used in various ways whether it is cooking or for health. I hope you get a better idea about the spice from all perspective