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Fenugreek Leaves & Seeds

Overview

Scientific Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum

Plant Part: Leaves & Fruit

Other Names: Hilbeh, Shanbalile, Fenugrec, Bockshornklee, Uluhal, Methi

Fenugreek is a short-living, annual plant belonging to the Fabaceae plant family.

The plant grows to about 60 centimetres and produces white, yellow, or purple flowers depending on the seed variety that is cultivated.

The leaves and the seeds are both used as a herb and spice across different countries in the world. Interestingly, the leaves are also used as a fresh vegetable in the Indian subcontinent.

Fenugreek leaves can be harvested up to 5 times from a single plant with the first harvest being done after only 1 month of sowing the seed.

The first harvest is considered the best grade of dried fenugreek leaves with a darker color and deeper aroma. Finally, harvesting of the leaves is stopped when the flowers begin to emerge, this is when the plant produces seed pods from which fenugreek seeds are harvested.

Dried fenugreek leaves have an earthy, musky, and bitter taste and the seeds can be described as nutty and bitter.

History of Fenugreek

There are conflicting views on where fenugreek originated with different academic researchers pointing towards several locations including Central Asia, Western Asia, and the Medetaranian region.

Evidence of burned fenugreek seeds was recovered from Tell Halal, Iraq by Archeologists (carbon dated to 4000 BC).

The first documented use of fenugreek was reported on Egyptian papyrus dated to 1500 BC, where the plant was used for embalming mummies.

Broken or dissected Fenugreek seeds have also been found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, an ancient Egyptian king. He ruled from 1333 BCE until he died in 1323 BCE.

Throughout history, there are also many written records from notable Roman and Greek writers and physicians pointing towards the use of fenugreek seeds as both a culinary ingredient and a medicine.

Harvesting and Post Harvesting Practices

As the plants mature, they produce clusters of small white flowers. These flowers eventually produce small fruits or fruit pods that contain the carom seeds.

The fruits are typically harvested when they turn brown and dry up, indicating that the seeds are mature and ready for extraction.

The fruits are harvested using sickles and then threshed either manually or using mechanical threshers to obtain ripened carom seeds.

Our Supply Chain

The Sabor Co. can supply imported fenugreek seeds and dried leaves of Indian origin. We procure our produce directly from marginal farmers in the state of Rajasthan, specifically the Nagaur region. The Nagaur region is known for its fenugreek leaves as being one of the best in the country. The soil, the PH levels of the water, and the climatic conditions all play an important role in developing the resulting flavor profile and the aroma of these leaves.

We have a purpose-built facility based in New Delhi, India for cleaning, sorting, UV sterilisation, steam sterilisation, and packaging.

The entire process is undertaken while maintaining the highest safety and hygiene standards. We also provide complete farm-level traceability for our lots including farmer details, farm location, harvesting date, and farm inputs.

For further information on the farm locations, grades, and varietals of fenugreek leaves and seeds that we offer, please follow the link below.

The total fenugreek production in India for the season of 2021-22 stood at 250 thousand tonnes with Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh being the highest-producing states contributing to about 80% of the total production in India. Read more

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