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Jan 12, 2012 09:58 AM

Growing Fenugreek in the US?

One of my favorite Indian dishes is Murg Methi (chicken with fenugreek). Unfortunately, my local Indian restaurant doesn't make this dish because they say they can't source quality fenugreek. This got me to wondering if fenugreek is grown anywhere in the US, and if not, why not? Surely some part of the States has a climate that is suitable for this crop.

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  1. It's available fresh in California. But it's a seasonal item and not available year round.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      +1 but I usually see it all year long. I'm in So. CA, so I'm not sure if that differs than No. CA since it tends to be warmer here. I usually get it from my local middle eastern market. Have some at home, in fact... might have to make methi parathas for dinner now...!

      PS -- you can also buy it chopped and frozen from many middle eastern and indian stores here. I've used that for aloo methi in a pinch -- perfectly acceptable.

      1. re: boogiebaby

        Wish I could remember what time of year we see it. Not feeling industrious enough to look for fresh methi posts on the SF board right now. I've been buying it at Indian markets, good suggestion to look at Middle Eastern places too. I guess it's prominent in Persian cooking. And I'll keep an eye out for frozen, never thought to look in the freezer section.

    2. If you are really desperate, you can easily sprout methi seeds and let them grow until they have greens on top. You won't be able to grow a lot but it's better than nothing.

      It's greens season here in India so I wonder if you can find fresh methi in Indian grocery stores that have imported fruit and veg. I know that over in the UK I was often able to get it from my local stores.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Muchlove

        Never seen methi in my local grocery stores, but I live in a semi-arid environment (similar to Mysore). I'm guessing fenugreek grows in cool, moist climates?

        1. re: Perilagu Khan

          I'm no gardening expert, but we get most greens in the Winter so I am guessing you are correct. However, what I am talking about is imported greens. Do you not get any imported veg in your local Indian stores, stuff that has been bought over from India or other countries like that? In the UK the variety of greens at our Indian grocery store was not huge and I did yearn for some things that they didn't have, but I could get proper Desi spinach, mustard greens and fenugreek greens pretty easily.

          Do have a go at sprouting some methi anyway. The sprouts themselves are rather tasty. But as I say you can also let them "over sprout" and then you will get some nice tender greens.

          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            Have you checked an Indian store? I've never seen methi for sale except at Indian markets.

            1. re: JungMann

              Ml and JM,

              I have not seen fresh methi (as opposed to dried Kasoor Methi) in my local Indian grocer, but I confess I haven't really looked either. But the issue is not so much that I'm unable to make Murg Methi myself--I can, with the dried stuff--but rather, I'm wondering if there's an untapped fresh methi market in the States.

        2. I had some fenugreek from a mail order spice shop. Just out of curiosity, I plopped them in a pot on my windowsill. They grew fast and furious. I'm not sure how big it is supposed to get, and these remained rather sprouty, but nice and flavorful. Not a big crop, of course, but a bushy pot full. And I do not have a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination.

            1. re: sr44

              Thanks for finding that. The poster purchased the fresh methi at a farmers market in Northern California. I know I've had paratha stuffed with fresh methi in October, so the local season runs from March to October, and perhaps longer.

            2. I also see fresh methi year round but it is sometimes out perhaps due to supply and not season. I have never tried growing it. I always get it from the Indian or Pakistani store but I know Iranians use it, too so you might find it an an Iranian market.