7 Best Fenugreek Leaves Substitutes

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Fenugreek Leaves Substitutes



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The fenugreek leaves, also known as the Greek hay, are one of the most used leaves in Indian cuisines and curries. These leaves are popular due to their rich taste and aroma, making them the perfect spice.

Fenugreek leaves also work perfectly in dishes like chutneys and sauces, and they can also be used as a dried rub for meats. You should add fenugreek to your meals towards the end, as the flavor may fade if it is added in the beginning.

However, if your recipe calls for these leaves at some point but there is none around, you can opt for other fenugreek leaves substitutes such as fennel powder, curry powder, maple syrup, mustard seeds, celery leaves, spinach, and alfalfa.

Let’s quickly learn more about these fenugreek leaf alternatives!

Best Fenugreek Leaves Substitutes

1. Maple Syrup

The best way to describe the taste and flavor of fenugreek leaves is the maple syrup, and for that reason, it’s one of the most suitable fenugreek leaves substitutes.

They taste closely the same because they contain a special ingredient known as the solution.

You should b very careful when using the maple syrup as a substitute because if you use too much of it, the dish might end up too sweet, which would later affect its taste.

Just like the maple syrup, you should add the maple syrup towards the end of the recipe, and you should add it in a ratio of 1: ½ (fenugreek leaves: maple syrup).

2. Mustard Seeds

The mustard seeds are a substitute that provides you with the same earthy flavor as the fenugreek leaves. Mustard seed is a better substitute than maple syrup if you don’t want your dish to be too sweet.

The yellow mustard seeds are preferable as they taste more like the fenugreek leaves when heated a bit before being added to your dish.

You can also use plain mustard seeds, but yellow is preferable. When substituting, it should be done in a ratio of 1:1 as the same quantity of mustard seed can work well for the fenugreek seeds.

3. Masala Curry Powder

The masala curry powder is a British concoction. Still, it can also work well as a fenugreek leaf substitute because you added some hints of fenugreek during the concoction-making process.

This substitute is versatile, and it is easier to find this powder in supermarkets than the fenugreek leaves.

It is preferred if you add this powder at the beginning of your dish before adding any oils, as this would intensify the taste of your dish and blend in easier with root ingredients.

Since the masala curry has a more robust flavor, it is advised that you add less of it when substituting for fenugreek leaves.

4. Fennel Seeds

The fennel seeds are another fantastic option to substitute for your fenugreek seeds. Fennel seeds are usually sweeter than fenugreek seeds, but if you want to use them for marinades and rubs on your meat, they are the perfect substitute.

The fennel seeds have a more robust flavor when compared to the fenugreek leaves, add them in lesser quantities, perhaps half of the amount of fenugreek the recipe calls for.

5. Alfalfa

The alfalfa is a flowering plant known as the watercress. This plant can be successfully used to substitute for fenugreek leaves due to its amazingly similar taste.

Just like the celery, the alfalfa provides your body with many vitamins, fibers, and minerals as they also add a lot of benefits to the blood.

Alfalfa is believed to have the ability to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause, so this substitute provides you with a lot of benefits, coupled with the fact that it also provides you with a similar taste to the fenugreek leaves.

6. Spinach

Spinach also has the qualities of the fenugreek leaves, but the aroma and taste are more pronounced when it is cooked. To provide you with a delicious dish, you can mix your fenugreek leaves with your fenugreek seeds to enhance its flavor.

The spinach leaves work well on their own, but it works even better when combined with the fenugreek seeds.

You should note that raw fenugreek won’t provide your dish with precisely the same taste as the fenugreek leaves, but the taste is enhanced when cooked.

7. Fenugreek Seeds

Like the fenugreek leaves, the fenugreek seeds are gotten from the plants. The seeds are similar to the fenugreek leaves, and they are also one of the bests substitutes because they provide you with a spicy version of fenugreek, while the fenugreek leaves are more like herbs.

These seeds are filled with many nutrients like vitamin B, vitamin K, and vitamin C; in summary, these seeds provide you with the nutrients you would need daily.

It is preferable to add these seeds at the starting phase of your recipe; either you add them as seeds or in powdered forms.

You can add watercress with your fenugreek seeds to attain some thickness and bulkiness in your dish.

Related Questions

Is Fenugreek the Same as Fennel?

The fenugreek leaves and the fennel seeds are different in appearance, and they are also not identical in taste. Even if you can use these two interchangeably, the fenugreek leaves are legumes, while the fennels are seeds from the fennel plants.

What Is Fenugreek in English?

The fenugreek seed is native to Asia and southern Europe, and its English name is Trigonella foenum graecum, an annual herb. These seeds are yellowish-brown and angular-shaped. They are referred to as methi in Hindi and vendhayam in Tamil.

Can We Apply Fenugreek to Our Face?

Yes, you can. Fenugreek seeds contain vitamin C, which lightens the skin and gives it a natural glow. To make a fenugreek skin paste, Soak your fenugreek seeds and then grind them to a paste you can apply at night before going to bed; you can also mix a spoon of milk or Greek yogurt to the paste for faster and more effective results.

What Happens If You Drink Fenugreek Water every day?

Regular intake of fenugreek can help you maintain your blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance in the body.

What Are the Side Effects of Fenugreek?

Although fenugreek is a healthy drink, it also has its side effects. Some common effects of fenugreek include dizziness, nausea, and digestive tract illnesses. Some other rare side effects include dizziness and headaches.


Fenugreek leaves are versatile ingredients that are a staple to many Indian and Mediterranean dishes. Contrary to many popular beliefs, various substitutes can work well in place of these leaves.

What’s better than using these substitutes individually is combining one or two. For example, you can combine maple syrup with mustard seeds to balance sweet and earthy flavors. And if you’re not sure of the amount you should substitute, start with small amounts before building them up.


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