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13 Best Substitutes For Fenugreek

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a small, leafy Indian plant that has been used as a spice and flavoring herb for hundreds of years. The leaves are often dried, and ground into a powder that can then be added to various dishes.

Other parts of the fenugreek plant have also traditionally been used in cooking – the seeds and sprouts are popular ingredients in many Asian cuisines, while every part of the plant (including the stems) can also be eaten cooked or raw in salads. Fenugreek leaves taste similar to spinach, but they are more bitter than spinach leaves. There are many things that can substitute fenugreek.

You can Substitute For Fenugreek with Mustard, Garam Masala, Curry Leaves, Yellow Mustard seeds, Curry Powder, Carrot Pudding, Garlic, Parsley, Coriander Leaves, Fried Spinach, Sambhar, Fennel Seeds, Maple Syrup.

Top Fenugreek Substitute

  1. Mustard
  2. Garam Masala
  3. Curry Leaves
  4. Yellow Mustard seeds
  5. Curry Powder
  6. Carrot Pudding
  7. Garlic
  8. Parsley
  9. Coriander Leaves
  10. Fried Spinach
  11. Sambhar
  12. Fennel Seeds
  13. Maple Syrup

1. Mustard:


The seeds from the mustard plant can be ground up and used as a substitute for fenugreek. These seeds are also commonly used in Indian cooking, so there’s a good chance that you already have them on hand.

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The seeds from the mustard plant can be ground up and used as a substitute for fenugreek. These seeds are also commonly used in Indian cooking, so there’s a good chance that you already have them on hand.

2. Garam Masala:

Garam Masala

Garam masala usually consists mainly of cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and coriander.

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Fenugreek is a popular ingredient in garam masala so you can use it as a substitute for the fenugreek seeds called for in your recipes.

3. Curry Leaves:

Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are also a great substitute for fenugreek leaves. They are commonly used in Gujarati and South Indian dishes.

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You can add curry leaves to your dosa, idli, or vada batter. It gives a nice flavor and taste to the food that you make using these batters. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of curry leaves powder to the 3 cups of dosa batter. Use dried or fresh curry leaves as desired.

4. Yellow Mustard seeds:

Yellow Mustard seeds

If you don’t have yellow mustard seeds and still want to make that special dish, just substitute with an equal amount of fenugreek seeds.

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Roast them in ghee and add them to your food. This is a great fenugreek leaves substitute and you won’t be able to tell the difference!!

5. Curry Powder:

13 Best Substitute For Fenugreek

If you have a fenugreek leaf handy at home, it can be used as to fenugreek seed substitute. Curry powder is made from various different spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds. But if you do not have all these ingredients in your pantry, nobody will know the difference with fenugreek leaves!

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All you need to do is grind some fenugreek leaves into a fine paste and add it to your dish instead of curry powder or curry leaves. It will help give that special aroma and flavor to your dish!

6. Carrot Pudding:

13 Best Substitute For Fenugreek

Fenugreek is also an excellent vegetable replacement for carrot pudding or paneer. You should crush the fenugreek leaves and rub them into a paste.

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You can add this to your paneer or carrot pudding recipe instead of fresh carrots, and you will get almost similar results!

7. Garlic:


Do you have a garlic substitute handy? If so, fenugreek makes the perfect substitute for garlic. Just crushing some fenugreek leaves and rubbing it on any dishes where you would normally use garlic, will take care of that wonderful flavor that is just not found in fenugreek leaves alone!

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Moreover, it gives an earthy taste with tangy overtones that are irresistible! To spice up your recipe, just add some curry powder along with it to give a unique twist to your dish.

8. Parsley:

Fenugreek Substitutes

Parsley is one herb that doesn’t go well with any dish. It tastes terrible and can ruin your recipe, even if you add just a little bit of it! But who says we need to use parsley in our dishes? What if you don’t have any on hand? You can always substitute parsley with a fenugreek powder substitute instead.

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Just chop up the fenugreek leaves into small pieces and add them to your dishes instead of parsley, and nobody will ever know the difference! They both look very similar and taste almost alike as well! So do not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen just because you are missing out on an ingredient or two!

9. Coriander Leaves:

Fenugreek Substitutes

Coriander leaves are no doubt an essential ingredient in many dishes. They give any dish a distinct flavor that is hard to replace. But, if you do not have coriander on hand and still want some of the amazing taste it provides your dish, why not try using fenugreek!

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The smell and taste will be almost identical! To make this work best, all you need to do is chop up the fenugreek leaves finely and add them to the recipe instead of coriander! You will definitely notice the difference immediately!

10. Fried Spinach:

Fenugreek alternatives

If you are feeling lazy but want to have something that resembles vegetables then this has got to be one of your best options. Use fresh fenugreek leaves and wash them thoroughly in water. Once drained mix it with salt and turmeric powder along with enough water so that it is not too dry and not soggy enough. Heat oil in a pan and place this mixture inside.

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Cover the lid of the frying pan well and cook these on medium heat till all the juices evaporate and you get crispy fried fenugreek leaves. Once this is done just squeeze a bit of lemon to give it its trademark color and taste.

11. Sambhar:

Fenugreek alternatives

If you are looking for an easy-to-make sambhar recipe then this is just the recipe for you. Sambhar is a common dish in South India, you can make it using fresh fenugreek leaves, tamarind juice, and different kinds of lentils. All you need to do is add fenugreek leaves along with the other ingredients and cook covered till all the vegetables are soft enough!

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If you don’t have fenugreek at home but still want that authentic taste, use fried onions or shallots instead! Hence, it will give your dish that tangy taste that only fenugreek provides. So, just crush them finely and add them to your dishes!

12. Fennel Seeds:

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are often used as a substitute for fenugreek. Some people find fennel to be an easier ingredient to use because it is not a spice, and also gives similar results! Although most people don’t even notice the difference between fenugreek and fennel, there is actually a huge flavor difference that can sometimes play tricks on your taste buds!

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If you want to make sure that nobody will ever wonder about whether or not you have added the perfect amount of fenugreek in your dish, try using fennel instead and no one will even know! How easy is this? Remember if you do not have enough fenugreek leaves at hand then just substitute them with the same quantity of fennel seeds!

13. Maple Syrup:

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a great ingredient to add to any dish. It creates the perfect balance and blends in with other ingredients perfectly! But, if you don’t have maple syrup at home but still want that same amazing taste on your dishes, just substitute it with fenugreek instead! The best way to do this is by adding 2 tablespoons of fenugreek along with less than half a tablespoon of maple syrup.

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This will definitely be enough so that you can get the right amount of sugar without being too overbearing. So next time when you are out of maple syrup try this simple trick instead! And no one will ever know what hit them. You could even top your pancakes off with some pure fenugreek powder for more maple syrup flavor!


How to substitute fenugreek?

Different dishes use fenugreek for different purposes. So one cannot tell you how to substitute it exactly without knowing what the recipe calls for. But generally, 1 teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves or powder can be substituted with 1/4 tsp each of cumin seeds, carom seeds (ajwain), and ginger powder. You may need to increase them if your dish requires a stronger flavor and aroma as compared to fenugreek.

How much fenugreek to use?

Fenugreek is a very strong herb. A little bit of it goes a long way and can overpower the flavors of your dish. So always keep that in mind when using fenugreek leaves or powder in your dishes. Always start with a lesser quantity at least until you get used to cooking with fenugreek.

How long can I keep the fenugreek leaves?

If you have purchased fresh fenugreek, make sure that you store them properly so that they stay fresh for as long as possible. Wrap the fenugreek in a paper towel and keep it inside an air-tight container or zip lock bag.

What is fenugreek tea?

Fenugreek tea is popular in India and has a very bitter taste to it. It can help with digestion as well as boost the immune system. Fenugreek tea is made either by boiling fenugreek seeds or just by crushing them.

What is an alternative to fenugreek powder?

There actually is no substitute for authentic fenugreek powder. But if you are looking for a substitute for fenugreek leaves then you can use curry leaves or thyme leaves instead.

Is there a substitute for whole fenugreek leaves? 

Fresh or dried fenugreek leaves taste very strong. This makes using them more difficult as they may overpower the dish. There is no substitute for whole fenugreek leaves because too much of it may overpower the dish. But if you are looking to use fenugreek as powder then you can replace it with celery seeds or ground coriander.

What is a substitute for fenugreek paste?

If you have some fenugreek paste but don’t have anything to use it in, then you can always just add a pinch of fenugreek leaves or powder instead.

Is there a substitute for fenugreek seeds?

Fenugreek seeds are very strong and bitter. So if you need to replace them with something else then try cumin seeds instead as they have a very similar flavor and aroma to fenugreek.

How do I substitute for curry leaves?

There are not many substitutes for curry leaves but one alternative is coriander seeds. Coriander has a very strong flavor and aroma which will make up for the lack of taste in curry leaves.  Other alternatives include thyme or olive leaves.

Is there a substitute for fenugreek in chai?

There are two herbs that work as substitutes for fenugreek in chai- cumin and coriander seeds. Both of these herbs offer a very strong flavor and aroma which will make your chai more flavorful.


If you are thinking of adding fenugreek to your dishes in the future, why not try out one or more of these recipes? These recipes will definitely be enough to get you started and give you the confidence and courage to use fenugreek in your cooking. So go ahead and start using fenugreek today!

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