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Odd question about fenugreek

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  • Odd question about fenugreek

    Reading something about a study that found that fenugreek flavoring was a favorite for horses, then reading up about the plant, I got some seeds to plant in my garden on a whim. Looking deeper, it seems that the seeds and the leaves are edible (by humans, anyway, and I would suppose likely horses, too), but couldn’t easily dial in if the “fenugreek flavor” referred to in the study is the flavor of the leaves or from the seeds. Anybody know? Anybody know if they are similar to each other? Certainly cilantro and coriander bear no real flavor relationship.

  • #2
    I buy fenugreek seeds. I've never seen the leaves or root mentioned.


    • #3
      The seeds are a common seasoning in Indian cuisine. Fenugreek tea is supposed to boost milk production in breastfeeding mothers. I imagine the leaves are used for tea.


      • #4
        Apparently both the leaves and seeds are used in cooking, but I've only seen the seeds available in ethnic grocery stores, and a quick Google indicates the seeds are also used in tea.

        Try the leaves with the horses and report back! The seeds are what's been used in the "flavor" studies, though.


        • #5
          ask Purina, I think it's in some of their feeds. Ummm, not good for pregnant mares
          Forward...go forward


          • #6
            that was an amazing study. When you think of it, wild horses grazed on grasses and herbs of all types. I would imagine the greens would be that which is available to graze, seeds are ,however more easily found commercially

            If you Wiki fenugreek you learn that it is mentioned by the ancients as being grown to feed cattle along with clover and vetch. Cool.

            With my last horse I regularly showed at a venue where evening hand grazing was a ritual. He would pull me through beautiful ankle deep grass to a particular knoll where there were all types of low herbaceous plants, only one I knew as pineapple weed; Matricaria discodia. Clearly there was a good taste in the mix. I wish I had followed through in finding out what they all were.
            -- * > hoopoe
            Procrastinate NOW
            Introverted Since 1957


            • #7
              I feed fenugreek seeds to my mare as it aids in digestive health, I noticed she was much more interested in her food and eat it with no problems so I think she does enjoy the taste.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                Apparently both the leaves and seeds are used in cooking, but I've only seen the seeds available in ethnic grocery stores, and a quick Google indicates the seeds are also used in tea.

                Try the leaves with the horses and report back! The seeds are what's been used in the "flavor" studies, though.
                The leaves are called "methi" at Indian or Pakistani grocery stores. You can buy them either dehydrated (and soak a little with water before cooking) or fresh (they are small leaves, it takes forever to pluck off all the stems.) To me, the seeds and leaves don't have the same flavor and I don't use them in the same recipes necessarily. I use the seeds more in lentil/bean dishes. I use the greens in curry recipes the same way I would use spinach. You can also mix it in potato dishes. The leaf flavor reminds me a little of arugula. One time when I had extra dried methi from cooking, I added a small handful of it to my horse's treats. He ate the whole thing. He is not a picky treat eater though. The only thing he doesn't like are bananas.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by IrishBirdcatcher View Post

                  The only thing he doesn't like are bananas.
                  Interesting, since banana was the second favorite flavor on the list for the study.

                  Tobler’s an interesting guy. Like many mustangs, he was suspicious of new foods when we first got him. Daughter was broken-hearted when he spat out the first apple piece she gave him. She literally would get down on the ground and shove carrot sticks between his teeth as he grazed since he wouldn’t take them out of hand. He came around rapidly, though. His trust of humans has finally extended to expectation that things offered him are non-poisonous and likely tasty, though. He’ll give anything we offer him a try, although first time around he’ll often do the “chew it up and let it dribble out” bit.


                  • #10
                    FWIW, a field of fenugreek smells like someone spilt a vat of pancake syrup the area. Seeds are used to flavour syrup so that is probably the flavour horses like.
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

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