Making your own curry from scratch may seem easy, but can be tricky for a novice cook. Knowing how much of each spice to use can be especially confusing. Because individual spices can vary greatly in terms of pungency, you can wind up adding too much or too little of a spice even if you follow a recipe closely. Fenugreek is closely identified with curry in the sense curry powder is what comes to mind for most people when they smell it. People who dislike curry are often reacting to the taste of fenugreek in particular. It is a spice that should be used in moderation as an excessive amount will overwhelm other flavors in addition to making any dish it is used in very bitter. Yet another side effect is that the pungent smell can linger in your kitchen and in your home for hours after you have finished cooking.
If you do wind up using too much fenugreek, you may be able to rescue your meal with one of the fixes below.
If you have a highly concentrated flavor, the first step to fixing it is almost always to dilute. When used correctly, dilution can work in most situations where a dish appears to have been ruined by too much of a particular spice. If your curry has too much fenugreek, add more liquids and more of the ingredients that are not fenugreek.
To get around the problem of having too much food, you can try removing half the ingredients and then bring it back up to a full recipe with all the non-fenugreek components.
Add creamy ingredients
Dairy products like yogurt often show up in dishes that include fenugreek and can be effective tools for masking the spice because of their blandness. Aside from dairy, other creamy options include coconut milk and coconut cream; both are often included in curry recipes. If your recipe already requires them, adding a little more should not have a significant impact on the flavor profile. Because dairy and coconut milk will mute all of the spices in your dish, you may need to adjust the levels of all the other ingredients aside from fenugreek.
One good way to cancel out the extreme bitterness that excessive fenugreek use can bring is to use a sweet ingredient in moderation. With many dishes that include fenugreek, you can add small amounts of sweeteners without any adverse effects on the overall flavor profile. Your sweetening options include palm sugar, cane sugar and even honey.
Add other flavors
While adding another flavorful ingredient may seem counterproductive, dried mint can counteract excess fenugreek in a dish. In some cases, it can completely mask the taste. Fennel seeds are also effective at eliminating the strong smell that comes with overuse of fenugreek and are often used to freshen the breath after meals containing it. The combination of ground coriander seed and lime is yet another way tone down the flavor of fenugreek. Use 1/4 teaspoon of coriander and the juice of one lime. Of course, you will need to add these ingredients in small amounts and taste after each addition to make sure that you are not overwhelming your dish with them.