Production of fenugreek in India
The leaves and seeds of the fenugreek plant are used as powders and extracts for medicine use. Fenugreek seeds contain 45-60% carbohydrates, most of which is a mucilaginous fiber which is 30% soluble and 20% insoluble fiber. It also contains about 20-30% proteins that are high in lysine and tryptophan, a small amount of oils (5-10%), a small amount of pyridine alkaloids (mostly trigonelline), and a few flavonoids, free amino acids, sapogenins, vitamins and volatile oils. Constituents in fenugreek that are thought to be responsible for its hypoglycemic effects include the testa and endosperm of the defatted seeds called the A subfraction, the 4 hydroxyisoleucine and the fiber. It is also thought that the saponins in the seeds are transformed in the gastrointestinal tract into sapogenins and this is responsible for the lipid lowering effects.
In foods, fenugreek is included as an ingredient in spice blends. It is also used as a flavoring agent in imitation maple syrup, foods, beverages, and tobacco. In manufacturing, fenugreek extracts are used in soaps and cosmetics. Fenugreek leaves are eaten in India as a vegetable.The herb is a characteristic ingredient in some curries and chutneys and the fenugreek extract is used to make imitation maple syrup. Because of its high nutritive contents, it is an important ingredient in vegetable and dhal dishes eaten in India. In India, Young fenugreek plants are used as a pot herb. The leaves are widely used, fresh or dried, in Indian cooking and are often combined with vegetables. Fenugreek seeds are used in a wide range of home-made or commercial curry powders. In northern Africa the plants are used for fodder.