While most bitter foods are cold in quality, fenugreek or methi is heating, so it is perfect for stoking the digestive fire. The seeds are often roasted to reduce bitterness and enhance flavour. Fenugreek combines well with fennel, cumin, coriander, turmeric and ginger. It is used in dosas to add viscosity and hold carbon dioxide as the batter ferments, to give you a lighter pancake.
This is the second most-used spice in the world. It adds a distinctive flavour to everything from curries to pickles. It’s an amazing digestive aid, helping with gas, bloating, sluggish digestion and poor absorption of nutrients. It also has purifying properties, improves circulation and the metabolism. Its heating and drying qualities are ideal for spring, as it helps clear mucus. It’s also great for menstruating women (helping with cramps) and new mothers (promoting the flow of breast milk). It’s always best to buy the whole seed and grind it fresh when you need to use it.