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7 Perfect Substitutes For Fenugreek You Use In Kitchen

Native to the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, and Western Asia, fenugreek is both a herb and spice that has a nutty, caramel-like flavor and a maple syrup-like smell.

Primarily used in Indian cuisine to bring flavor to soups, sauces, and curries, it is commonly found in a wide range of popular spice blends such as garam masala and panch phoran.

If you’ve run out of fenugreek leaves or seeds and need a solution, you’ve come to the right place.

The 7 Best Fenugreek Substitutes

Despite being relatively unique in regards to appearance and flavor, fenugreek can be easily substituted when you have the right ingredients. 

Today, we’re going to help you substitute fenugreek by giving you 7 brilliant substitutions.

Whether you need to replace fenugreek seeds or leaves, we have a substitute on our list that will suit what you need. Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Masala Curry Powder

We’ll start our list with a fantastic substitute that can be used to substitute for fenugreek in no time at all.

Perfect for those times you’re in a pinch to replace fenugreek seeds, masala curry powder usually contains ingredients such as cardamom, cumin seeds, salt, Kashmiri red chili powder, carom seeds, ginger powder, cinnamon, turmeric powder, and nutmeg.

These ingredients along with a few others help produce a unique spice blend that wonderfully combines earthy, nutty flavors with sweeter, salty flavors. 

The sweetness of this curry powder is what makes it such a great substitute. Of course, the fact it can be quickly added to a dish also helps.

Another great thing about masala curry powder is that it provides curries and soups with vibrant colors as well as flavors.

You’ll be pleased to know that you can easily make your own masala curry powder at home too.

How To Substitute

Using masala curry powder as an alternative to fenugreek is incredibly easy. Simply use a little less than the recipe asks for. You can then add more if you feel like the dish needs some extra flavor.

2. Yellow Mustard Seeds And Maple Syrup

In our opinion, a combination of yellow mustard seeds and maple syrup is the best substitute you can use if you’ve run out of fenugreek seeds or leaves.

Not only do the two represent a quick fix but they both also provide great flavors.

The flavor provided by yellow mustard seeds and maple syrup is exactly like you would imagine. It is sweet, bitter, and earthy.

These are the same flavors we get from fenugreek, making the blend a perfect combination. 

All you have to do to make this substitute is mix yellow mustard seeds and maple syrup together.

The more fenugreek your recipe requires, the more seeds and syrup you mix together. 

You can add this combination to any dish you’d be happy adding fenugreek too. This can include curries, soups, and sauces. 

How To Substitute

The best way to substitute fenugreek with yellow mustard and maple syrup is to first add the same quantity of mustard to your recipe as you would fenugreek. From here, you can then add the maple syrup in to achieve the sweet, caramel flavor fenugreek offers.

The 7 Best Fenugreek Substitutes

3. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are an interesting substitute because they won’t work in every dish but will work amazingly with the ones they do. 

Fennel seeds are the dried seed of the fennel herb. They look very similar to cumin seeds but tend to be green in color.

Aside from offering plenty of flavors, fennel seeds are great for the body. 

They are known to help improve digestion, regulate blood pressure, purify the blood, treat constipation, and improve eyesight. They are also believed to promote weight loss.

In terms of taste, fennel seeds have a taste that isn’t too different from anise. This taste can be quite overpowering which is why the seeds don’t work with every dish.

Generally speaking, fennel seeds work best as a meat rub. They also work well when ground and added to a spice mix.

Overall, the results will be different but still very tasty and enjoyable.

How To Substitute

When adding fennel seeds to a dish instead of fenugreek seeds, we recommend adding them in small quantities. You should never use the same amount of fennel as fenugreek because it is too overpowering.

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4. Curry Powder

Despite being widely used in Indian cooking, curry powder is a British creation and works great for fenugreek substitutes.

It is a blend of spices that were put together to make Indian flavors more accessible to the western world.

Without it, people wouldn’t have been able to cook with authentic Indian flavors.

Luckily, today, we don’t have this worry as most Indian spices are readily available globally. 

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t use this blend of spices to replicate the flavors fenugreek offers.

In fact, most curry powders contain fenugreek, which makes it the perfect solution.

If you don’t have any curry powder in your kitchen but still need a quick fix, with a couple of simple ingredients you could make a homemade curry powder. 

All you need to make a super simple curry powder is coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili peppers. 

How To Substitute

Curry powder contains a wide range of ingredients so before using it as a substitute you should first check your recipe to avoid adding too much of one ingredient. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of turmeric, you might want to use less as the curry powder contains plenty.

5. Kale

Next on our list of fenugreek substitutions is kale. A type of leaf cabbage, kale is known for its edible leaves.

Although, some varieties of kale are also used as an ornamental piece. 

This leafy, cruciferous vegetable is rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Aside from offering an array of health benefits which include stronger bone and immune system health, kale is a wonderful fenugreek leaf substitute.

The 7 Best Fenugreek Substitutes

Thanks to its green leaves and slightly bitter taste, you can easily use kale leaves as a solid fenugreek leaf alternative.

In truth, the taste won’t be completely the same as kale also has a green leafy taste but if you find yourself in a tricky position without anything else, you could do a whole lot worse. 

They work better as a fenugreek substitution when added to curries and casseroles.

How To Substitute

Kale leaves tend to have a stronger flavor than fenugreek leaves so you need to think carefully about how and when you add the leaves to your dish. It is also important to know that the bitter taste of kale leaves disappears once the vegetable has been cooked. With that in mind, add the kale in small quantities towards the end of cooking.

6. Celery Leaves

What may seem like a strange choice is actually a great substitute when your recipe requires fenugreek leaves and you don’t have any in the kitchen. 

Celery leaves not only provide a quick solution, but they also taste quite similar to fenugreek.

Both herbs have a bitter taste that goes nicely with a wide range of dishes.

As a result of this similar flavor, we can easily use celery leaves in any dish that calls for fenugreek leaves.

You could also use celery leaves to replace fenugreek seeds but unfortunately, the result just won’t be the same.

To replace the fenugreek seeds, you should instead use celery seeds. These will offer a more appropriate solution.

A great thing about celery seeds is that they can also be used as an ingredient in various spice mixes. 

How To Substitute

Ideally, you should use Chinese celery as a substitute for fenugreek as it has the most similar flavors. If not, a common option will still work fine. Once you have your celery leaves, we recommend using them just like you would the fenugreek leaves. The taste won’t be exactly the same but it should be enough to get you by.

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7. Mustard Greens

The final fenugreek substitution on this list is mustard greens. Mustard greens are a type of leaf that can be eaten raw and cooked. 

They make a good fenugreek substitutes because they have a strong bitter taste.

Unlike celery leaves, mustard greens also have a touch of spice which adds an extra element of heat to curries, soups, and sauces. 

This is a substitute you would only use for fenugreek leaves because you don’t need to use it for substituting fenugreek seeds.

This is because you’d be better off using mustard seeds as an alternative to fenugreek seeds.

If you do need an alternative specifically for fenugreek leaves, we strongly believe that mustard greens are the best option.

They are the closest type of leaf when it comes to mimicking the flavor and appearance of fenugreek leaves.

How To Substitute

You’ll find it incredibly easy to substitute mustard greens for fenugreek leaves because all you have to do is sprinkle the leaves into your dish at the end of the cooking process. We can highly recommend adding these leaves to a fresh curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Fenugreek Good For?

Fenugreek is primarily used to season many dishes, including curries, rice, and bread. It is also used as a treatment for digestive problems.

What Does Fenugreek Taste Like?

Fenugreek is a popular spice that is used in many different cuisines and dishes.

The flavor of fenugreek can be described as nutty, slightly sweet, and peppery. 

What Are The Dangers Of Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a seed used in curry powder preparation, which is used in Indian cooking. It has various health benefits and is the main ingredient in some over-the-counter supplements. 

The dangers of fenugreek include the risk of vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

The 7 Best Fenugreek Substitutes

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All out of fenugreek and need a quick fix? Want to try something different? If so, check out this post where we list 7 of the best fenugreek substitutes.


  • Masala Curry Powder

  • Yellow Mustard Seeds And Maple Syrup

  • Fennel Seeds

  • Curry Powder

  • Kale

  • Celery Leaves

  • Mustard Greens


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith