Fenugreek Seeds Of Inner And Outer Growth

8 Dec

I’ve been punishing myself lately for decisions that I made in the past that have appeared to me in the present as a clear reflection of not embracing my self worth. I keep going over and over in my head about how I should have done things differently, how I should have been more confident in my unique qualities and valued my time and talents more highly.

Given that the situation I’m referring to is one of the biggest and most emotionally, physically and spiritually draining challenges I have faced, it’s ironic that I found a message in something as small as a seed – a fenugreek seed to be precise.

Since writing about food from my childhood, I’ve been craving a curry with fenugreek shoots. Mum used to make an Indian beef and potato curry with fresh fenugreek shoots that she grew in our garden from seeds. It was delicious. I went to an Indian grocer last week with my dad and sister Sarah in search of fresh fenugreek shoots. The owner of the store told us “it is hard to supply fresh fenugreek shoots because they only last a couple of days and then we take them home to use or throw them out”.

We were shown frozen fenugreek shoots as an alternative so I thought I’d give them a try and bought one packet.

I also bought a packet of fenugreek seeds and planted some in the backyard to eventually harvest for a curry.

I was doing some online research about fenugreek and I realised just how versatile this plant is. Fenugreek is used as both a herb (fenugreek leaves/shoots) and a spice (the seeds). Fenugreek can be consumed as a tea by mixing one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds with 1 cup of water. Crush the fenugreek seeds, pour over boiling water and leave it to steep for a few hours, the longer you leave it the better.

There are said to be many benefits of drinking fenugreek tea, including breast enlargement, an increase in breast milk production during lactation, eases the symptoms of menopause, and induces and eases labor due to its naturally occurring oestrogen mimicking constituents; reduces the risk of heart attacks, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, enhances libido in women and men, beneficial for diabetics, assists with digestive complaints, suppresses the appetite, cleansing to internal organs such as the kidneys and intestines and eases flu symptoms.

I will definitely be trying fenugreek tea myself and will suggest it to my girlfriend who’s due to have a baby any day now. In the meantime, I made a curry for dinner using a recipe from my library of cookbooks and added some of the frozen fenugreek. I also came across a recipe for chapattis with fenugreek.

To make the curry, I fried in ghee 2 medium diced onions, 3 cloves of diced garlic, 2cm cube of ginger grated, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 2 crushed cardamoms, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 3 heaped teaspoons of cumin powder and 2 bay leaves. Then I added 800g diced beef, 2 heaped tablespoons of yoghurt, 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 big splashes of white vinegar and salt. While the curry was simmering, I peeled and diced 2 medium potatoes into chunks and fried them in ghee until just golden brown. I tossed the potatoes into the curry and let it simmer for about 1 hour before mixing in 250g frozen fenugreek shoots and simmering again until warmed through.

To make the chapattis I free poured white plain flour into a bowl (maybe 2 – 3 cups), some warmed ghee, a sprinkle of salt, a small handful of defrosted fenugreek shoots and warm water.

I mixed the dough by hand and added water as needed until it came together without being too sticky.

I let the dough rest before dividing it into small tennis balls and rolling them out on a floured surface with a rolling pin.

I fried the chapattis in some ghee until they were golden brown on both sides and served them with the curry and natural yoghurt.

Fenugreek opened my eyes to the importance of utilising my potential in each moment rather than waiting to grow into the perfect person. If I dismissed fenugreek seeds as merely the beginning of the fenugreek shoots, I wouldn’t enjoy the wonderful health benefits that the seeds offer; I noticed the fenugreek seeds immediate significance as well as their potential.

I looked back on the things that I wished I could change and accepted that I did my best in each situation. I have the power to remove weeds that might prevent my seeds from growing right now and give them the resources they need to mature. The amount of care I invest in planting, watering and growing my seeds will determine the quality of my shoots.


2 Responses to “Fenugreek Seeds Of Inner And Outer Growth”

  1. Antoniette December 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    What can i say Jess??? You are one very talented lady that should feel like she is worth gold! As humans we tend to reflect on the past (even though we consciously know we can’t change anything that has happened) and not focus on the present!! The curry looks great so do the chapattis. Anything you cook is amazing!!! 😉 Must try the Fenugreek tea! Lets see what happens…..Love you xoxoxo

    • Jessica Fernandez December 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

      Thanks beautiful. Let’s see if the theory about inducing labour works for you! I put some fenugreek seeds in water 2 hours ago so it’s nearly ready to drink. Let’s see what it does for me 😉 xoxoxox

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