Dried fenugreek is a subtle but intriguing herb, one that adds unique flavor to sauces, meat, seafood, eggs and cooked vegetables. Slightly sweet, herbal and earthy with pleasant aromatics, it’s like adding a gentle hint of curry powder to whatever you make.
Less intense than curry powder and also less intense than fenugreek seeds or fresh fenugreek leaves, which can easily overwhelm a dish, dried fenugreek can be used in the kitchen just like any other type of dried herb. The flavor pairs especially well with other favorite herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and turmeric.
In this recipe, dried fenugreek is simmered in coconut milk with tomatoes, garlic and ginger and poured over cumin and coriander spiked lamb. Even with all those different spices and seasonings going on, the overall flavor is fairly subtle and comforting and will make your house smell really good.
The easiest place to find dried fenugreek leaves (also labeled as kasuri methi) is in Indian grocery stores. It can also be bought from online spice shops.
Servings: 2 to 3
Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour
- 1 pound ground lamb (450 g)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (4 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (2.5 ml)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (30 ml)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
- 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, finely chopped (2.5 cm)
Coconut Fenugreek Sauce:
- 1 cup diced tomato (about 2 medium tomatoes)
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (400 ml)
- 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (30 ml)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice (10 ml)
Preheat oven to 425 °F/220 °C.
In a large bowl mix together lamb, egg, salt, cumin, coriander, cilantro and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves. Form into about 12 golf ball sized balls. The meatballs will be loose, not tightly packed, which is fine.
Heat a skillet over medium-high with the coconut oil. Add the meatballs, browning on all sides, then transfer to a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until barely pink in the middle and around 160 °F/70 °C.
In the same skillet the meatballs were just in, sauté the ginger and remaining garlic, just until lightly browned.
Add the tomato and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
Add coconut milk, fenugreek leaves and lime juice. Bring to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
Serve meatballs and fenugreek sauce over cauliflower rice or sautéed greens.