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Sep 24, 2003 06:59 PM

Where can I buy fenugreek and how do I prepare it?

  • c

I think I'm in over my head--decided to have all the symbolic foods listed in the Torah for Rosh Hashonah dinner. Don't think I've ever had fenugreek but it's on The List (as well as sheep's head--not going there! I'll substitute fish head). So where do I buy fenugreek and what do I do with it? And as long as I'm asking--any simple recipes for pomegranate seeds?

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    1. re: vn

      Most Indian stores carry fresh methi/fenugreek leaves, dried methi in packets, as well as fenugreek seeds.

    2. Hey, chowgefiltefish! What an undertaking...

      Fenugreek can be found at Iranian or Indian markets, but I've never ever seen it fresh, so you might have to rely on the dried stuff, which is incredibly strong. It's the main ingredient in the Iranian dish ghormeh sabzi (sabzi meaning greens or herbs, denoting the fenugreek in this instance). Once we brought some back in our suitcase from Italy (Ali's aunt there thought that we, living in California, would have trouble finding the stuff - ha!) and it smelled everything up. Very strong.

      As for pomegranate recipes, again there's a great Iranian dish with pomegranate syrup (seeds only as garnish) - fesenjoon. I'm sure you've had it! That would be a fun dish to have.

      Try Zand Market on Solano or the Elmwood Grocery on College at Ashby. Or any of the multitude of Indian places on University.

      There's also a new beverage called Pom Wonderful - pomegranate juice, plain or flavored with tangerine, blueberry, cherry, or mango. Loaded with antioxidants, apparently, and hopefully tasty. I have yet to try it. Does anyone know where they sell it?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Alexandra

        Funny that you should mention Pom Wonderful...just saw a press release today that its rolling out national distribution. I haven't tried it either. Here's a link to the website with a store locator.


        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Yes, they're featured in the food section of today's NY Times. I've seen it at Whole Foods in the city.

          You can buy cheaper pomegranite juice at many markets that have middle eastern products though.

      2. n

        Fenugreek -- Hindi, methi -- is available either as a seed or as a fresh leaf. In terms of flavor and specific usage the two have nothing in common. Fenugreek seeds should be available in any market that has a decent selection of dried spices. I live in San Diego. Here fresh fenugreek leaves are seasonably available in Indian grocery stores. In fact, I bought a bunch two weeks ago. I don't see why SF's Indian markets would not carry an item available here. But, if you can't find fresh fenugreek, watercress is a reasonable substitute.

        As for preparation, see the link.


        1. If you don't have an appropriate ethnic store nearby, YUM on Market where Valencia begins has a huge spice collection and they can help you learn more about how to use most everything they sell. Definitely costs more than the corner store, but the tins are nice.

          1. j
            Judith Hurley

            Interesting idea. Where in the Torah is the list? (Does it include brisket : - )?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Judith Hurley

              I was wrong--it's actually in the Gemorah (part of the Talmud). I've linked one of the lists I found. This will be my 49th Rosh Hashonah and half of the list was news to me--gourds, fenugreek, leeks. My Israeli Sephardic sister in law taught me about pomegranate, dates and fish (or sheep's!) head. I knew about apples and honey obviously. And I thought I was going to get off the hook easy making brisket and matza ball soup!