I have accidentally brought a load of fenugreek seeds, as apposed to leaves, and wonder if I can use them as a substitute.

if not, what any ideas for what I can do with them before they go in the bin?

4 Answers 4


Fenugreek seeds are intensely aromatic and go quite nicely in curries, and any dish where such a flavour is required. In the middle-east they use it quite a lot, often as a condiment. Highly used in spice rubs, pickles, marinades, anything where a strong spice flavour is required and often in puddings as an aromatic like nutmeg is used in English cooking.

The leaves have a similar flavour, but not quite the same, you could use the seeds in their place adding them in to the spice mix if there is one, but the leaves I prefer personally. The flavour of methi leaves in thepla or in curry is wonderful in my opinion.


Basically, no! They have avery different flavour. You also need to be careful as fenugreek seeds as well as being quite bitter, are very hard. They are usually roasted and ground, and if used whole are invariably fried in hot oil at the start of a dish.

  • 1
    Fenugreek seeds should always be roasted or fried, but then most spices benefit from this. I tend to think of them like other larger aromatics in mixes, take them out or avoid them if used whole.
    – Orbling
    Commented Mar 9, 2011 at 15:51

A great way to use fenugreek seeds is as one ingredient in creating your own 5-spice (Panch Phoron) powder. Then, you can use in stir-fry and/or sauces. I prefer the flavor when cooked some, but it may work as a chicken marinade as well.

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    Added the clarification because in most English speaking countries "5 spice" will be understood to mean chinese five spice, which is a completely different mixture that doesn't substitute for panch phoron and does not contain any fenugreek. Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 23:53

You can sprout them! I have a batch going right now, they've just now got little tails (heads?) poking out. I understand the flavor of the sprouts is a bit (perhaps pleasantly) bitter. I'm looking forward to trying them.

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