Cooking Classes


Brown Basmati Rice & Lentil Pilau with Fenugreek

In my small town where I only find flat leaf parsley once a year, yes in my garden, you can imagine my disbelief. Fenugreek? I checked the label again and, yes it is fenugreek. Strangely I made a quinoa and lentil pilau, or pilaf as many say, only a few days ago that asked for a cup of chopped fenugreek. I simply omitted it. I have never tasted fresh fenugreek and to make a substitution was unnecessary. There was already lots of flavour.

This reminds me of when I found fresh Black Mission figs at the peak of ripeness. The bewildered produce manager had no idea how one would eat them. I bought a case. They were chopped and added to my farmers’ market loaves. I enjoyed them with a lovely chevre drizzled with local honey. I preserved jam and chutney. That was two years ago.

And then there was the time I found halloumi cheese. I had barely moved to town and was not familiar with anything let alone the standard fare at the grocery stores. I was suitably impressed but that was it. Once. Ditto with angostura bitters. That same Christmas there was an impressive display of angostura bitters. Wish I had bought a few bottles. I have not seen it since.

I looked again at my pilau recipe and it was indeed fenugreek that had been called for. Coincidentally I am making the pilau, this time with brown basmati rice, for a catering gig. Did I dare use the fenugreek? What would it taste like? 

How could I not buy it? I’m sure I’ll never see it again.

Brown Basmati Rice and Lentil Pilau

2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
1/2 cup cooked green lentils
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon each of mustard seeds and cumin seeds
4 curry leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon raw cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, to taste

Cook the rice and lentils separately. I cook both of them like I cook pasta, with lots of water. I drain them when they are cooked but still firm and lay a clean tea towel over them to steam for a few minutes.

Heat oil in a wide saute pan on medium heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they begin to pop add the cashews and toast. Add turmeric, curry leaves, coriander and saute for a minute or two. Add shallots and carrots. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add rice and lentils. Mix thoroughly. Cover and heat on lowest setting for 8 - 10 minutes or they can be placed in a 325F oven in a covered pot for about 20 minutes.

Fenugreek (/ˈfɛnjʉɡriːk/; Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae with leaves consisting of three small obovate to oblong leaflets. It is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop, and its seeds are a common ingredient in dishes from the Indian Subcontinent. (Wikipedia)

It has a green herbaceous flavour with a slight bitterness. It is very mild in this dish. 


  1. I have never come across fresh fenugreek in my neck o the woods but Choices would be the place to have it randomly, I do have the powdered spice sent to me by an Ontario blogger.

    1. Well, I'm not sure if I ever found it in Calgary either. Or I didn't know what to do with it. We get the strangest things. Another one is really nice plantain. I have found plantain a lot but they don't ripen properly and stay hard. Ours are quite nice.

  2. What interesting ingredients you find where you least expect them! This pilaf looks good.

    1. I am beginning to learn just to buy them and I'll find a way to use them. I really should. We don't always find such exotics. Brightens my day.

  3. You might comment on the order system of the blog. You should chat it's splendid. Your blog audit would swell up your visitors. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! Brown basmati rice, Basmati

  4. You completed certain reliable points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog. iii host

  5. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.
    technologies after that he must be pay a quick visit this site and be up to date
    chopped dates
    chopped dates


I appreciate your comment! Please visit often.