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Blue Fenugreek

Blue fenugreek spice

What is Blue Fenugreek?

Blue fenugreek is a spice used in many national cuisines of Europe. Different regions use blue fenugreek in different ways, in some cases blue fenugreek leaves are used as a spice, in some cases ground blue fenugreek seeds are used, and sometimes a mixture of ground blue fenugreek seeds, leaves and pods is used to make the spice. It is a mixture of various parts of this spice that is widely known under the name utskho-suneli, which in Georgian means someone else's spice. This is not true - blue fenugreek grows in Georgia in wild and cultivated conditions. Utskho-suneli is used as an independent spice, and is also part of various Georgian seasonings. In other countries, blue fenugreek is also widely used in cooking and other industries.

Fenugreek and Blue Fenugreek, Utskho-Suneli and Khmeli-Suneli

Sometimes blue fenugreek is confused with fenugreek, and although they are closely related spices, they are still different and used in slightly different ways. The same confusion sometimes arises with the names of Georgian spices and seasonings - utskho-suneli and khmeli-suneli. In reality, there is no confusion. Utskho-suneli is obtained from seeds, pods and leaves of blue fenugreek - this is an independent spice. And hops-suneli are a mixture of more than a dozen different spices obtained from various plants. At the same time, as one of the components of the seasoning, khmeli-suneli also includes blue fenugreek - ucho-suneli.

The Use of Blue Fenugreek and Utskho-Suneli in Cooking

Blue fenugreek is similar in taste and aroma to fengurek, but has a milder taste and a subtle aroma that is nevertheless very persistent. In Georgian cuisine, blue fenugreek is used everywhere; Georgia has its own name for this spice - utskho-suneli. This spice is used to cook almost any Georgian cuisine - it is added to meat dishes, chicken, quail, duck and turkey dishes are cooked with it, this spice is included in the recipes of many Georgian dishes. In addition, utskho-suneli is part of most Georgian seasonings and sauces - khmeli-suneli and Svan salt, adjika and many others.

But blue fenugreek is used in cooking not only in the Caucasus. In many countries of the Mediterranean and Europe, this spice is also widely used for cooking various recipes. For example, dried blue fenugreek leaves are used in recipes for green cheese, which is produced in the Alps and has a unique taste and aroma, thanks to which it has become widely known. Green cheese itself becomes a condiment and is used grated in the cooking of various dishes. Green cheese is used to cook spreads for sandwiches, green cheese with blue fenugreek is added to cheese sauces and fondue, potato or flour dumplings, Italian gnocchi and much more. In Germany, blue fenugreek leaves are called bread clover and are used as an additive in baking some types of bread.

The Use of Blue Fenugreek in Medicine

Blue fenugreek is used in both traditional and folk medicine. Blue fenugreek is included in some medical preparations intended for the treatment of atherosclerosis and cleansing the body of toxins. In folk medicine, blue fenugreek is used as a stimulant and tonic with antibacterial properties. A decoction of blue fenugreek seeds has regenerating and enveloping properties. This decoction is used for diseases of various organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

The Benefits and Harms of Blue Fenugreek

Blue fenugreek has many health benefits. Moderate consumption of blue fenugreek benefits the human body. Blue fenugreek cleanses blood vessels of cholesterol and removes toxins from the body, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, normalizes the functioning of the nervous system and metabolism, and also stimulates the cardiovascular system. But, like any other medicine or spice, this spice may have contraindications. Blue fenugreek can cause harm to the body in some cases, the most common of which is individual intolerance and allergic reactions of the body.

Scientific Name of Blue Fenugreek

Blue fenugreek (Trigonella caerulea) is a species of the genus Trigonella of the legume family (Fabaceae).

Blue Fenugreek and Its Cultivation

The homeland of blue fenugreek is the Mediterranean, from there it spread throughout Europe and began to be used in many countries as a spice. Currently, blue fenugreek is grown both in Europe and in America.

In What Form Can You Buy Blue Fenugreek?

You can buy blue fenugreek in the form of unshelled seeds, which are usually sold along with bean hulls. Buying blue fenugreek this way will ensure that you are buying exactly what you need, and you will need to grind the blue fenugreek before using it. You can also buy a ready-made spice made from seeds, bean shells and blue fenugreek leaves - utskho-suneli. Such a spice should have a uniform structure and should not contain plant stems. The fact is that, unlike other parts of blue fenugreek, the stems contain practically no taste and aroma, and are added to utsho-suneli in order to increase the volume of spice at no additional cost. The presence of plant stems in utskho-suneli indicates the low quality of this spice. And you need to buy only high-quality spices, otherwise their use in cooking will disappoint you.