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The last time I used fenugreek seeds, they and mustard seeds were the first into the pan, followed by onions, then other vegetables. I expected them to soften a bit and release their flavor, but they retained a bit of an unpleasant crunch, in the end.

Do I need to grind or crush them first, or can they be used whole if you treat them right?

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When cooking with fenugreek personally, I have found that processing them in a grinder is the best way to use them in a dish. If they are not ground fine enough they can remain a bit more textured. Longer cooking time in liquid can help with the breaking down of the texture as well. However, it is best to just start out with grinding them as fine as you can.

In response to the mustard seeds, I leave them whole, or grind them. Depending on how I plan to use them. They can be prepared in dishes both ways. They too break down in liquid much easier than the fenugreek seeds. So the crunchy texture you mentioned, may have been from the fenugreek, not the mustard seeds. Cooking duration can play a role too, just to keep that in mind.

  • Yes, I wasn't concerned about the mustard seeds, because I've cooked them that way to good effect before. Maybe I'll experiment with leaving the fenugreek whole in the base for a sauce that simmers for a while. Otherwise, I'll grind in the future. Thanks! – asterac Apr 8 '15 at 20:14
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I've read some articles about making risotto using Fenugreek seeds in place of Arborio rice. Same rules I believe apply, just treat the fenugreek like you might arborio. This is one aspect how how to utilize them.

Most applications you usually use a spice grinder, I always toast my herbs and spices before hand.

  • 2
    Are you sure that these articles do not mean either using fenugreek leaves (or kasuri methi), or SOME fenugreek seeds mixed in with the rice? Fenugreek seeds are not exactly weak in taste, a preparation made from them as a main ingredient sounds more like a condiment than a main dish. – rackandboneman Sep 21 '16 at 14:10

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