The thing you have to understand about fenugreek is that it’s very difficult to substitute, fenugreek has got a strong and spicy flavor That’s very difficult to replace even when combining many spices and ingredients, however, these fenugreek substitutes you are going to learn about in this post are going to make your recipes smell and taste like prepared with authentic fenugreek.
- The first fenugreek substitute is Maple syrup.
Both fenugreek and Maple syrup share a common chemical compound called sotolone, it’s the one responsible for the distinctive fenugreek and Maple syrup aroma.
Adding one tablespoon of maple syrup to your dishes will give them a distinctive fenugreek aroma, but it will fade very quickly, this is why you need to only add Maple syrup at the end of the preparation.
- The second fenugreek substitute is curry powder.
You may not know this, but curry powder contains powdered fenugreek seeds. Adding curry powder to your dishes will give them a distinctive fenugreek taste; however this aroma is going to be weak because of all the other overpowering curry spices aromas.
Always look for freshly made curry powder as the fenugreek aroma tends to fade very quickly.
A great tip to using curry powder as a substitute for fenugreek is cooking it first.
For example, if you are making a potato recipe, it will be a great idea to add the Curry powder first and to cook it a little bit with olive oil or butter.
This will reduce the strong aromas of the spices in curry powder.
- The third fenugreek substitute is yellow mustard seeds.
Yellow mustard seeds are very spicy and flavorful, but when used in small quantities, they can wonderfully substitute fenugreek.
Here is a little recipe I’ve used in the past: take half a teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds, crush them and heat them a little, this will reduce their overpowering aroma and make the taste similar to fenugreek seeds.
- The fourth substitute is fennel seeds.
Fennel seeds, in my opinion, are sweet tasting and a little overwhelming, but some people have successfully used them in place of fenugreek seeds and they seem to be quite popular.
I don’t think they are a great substitute for fenugreek, because the aroma is totally different, but if combined with yellow mustard seeds, they are going to add a wonderful spicy taste to your dishes.
It’s a bit close to fenugreek seeds, but it’s not a very reliable substitute.
- The fifth fenugreek substitute is spinach or kale.
I’m not talking here about fenugreek seeds substitute, what I’m talking about here is substitutes to fenugreek leaves.
They are a bit pricey and are hard to get, however if you are planning on preparing Indian dishes, you will certainly need them.
A great way to obtain the same texture and a resembling aroma to that of fenugreek leaves is to use spinach instead.
However, this substitution will not work for you if you do not have fenugreek seeds, as the spinach leaves are going to be overwhelming, the best thing I’ve found is to grind some fenugreek seeds and mix them while the spinach leaves are cooking.
This will make the spinach leaves taste similar to fenugreek leaves.
These five fenugreek substitutes are proven to work and will make your dishes smells and tastes of fenugreek.
If you know other substitutes, please share them in a comment.