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Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-graecum)
An annual herb belonging to the pea family, with long pods containing irregularly-shaped brown seeds; an essential ingredient in Indian curries. The seeds need to be dry-heated in a pan to release their flavour. The name is derived from the Latin term foenum-graecum (Greek hay), a reference to the use of its leaves as animal fodder; but the plant is sometimes known as 'trigonella'. The seeds are soaked and eaten like beans in parts of Africa and the sprouted seeds can be used in salads. See 'Fenugreek, Medicinal uses'