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Growing Fenugreek in the US?

Perilagu Khan Jan 12, 2012 09:58 AM

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.

  1. Melanie Wong Jan 12, 2012 10:02 AM

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      boogiebaby Jan 12, 2012 04:31 PM

      +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
        Melanie Wong Jan 12, 2012 05:42 PM

        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. m
      Muchlove Jan 12, 2012 10:52 AM

      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
        Perilagu Khan Jan 12, 2012 11:48 AM

        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
          m
          Muchlove Jan 12, 2012 12:00 PM

          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
            JungMann Jan 12, 2012 12:05 PM

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

            1. re: JungMann
              Perilagu Khan Jan 12, 2012 12:37 PM

              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. L.Nightshade Jan 12, 2012 01:27 PM

          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. s
            sr44 Jan 12, 2012 06:17 PM

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774883

            1 Reply
            1. re: sr44
              Melanie Wong Jan 12, 2012 06:42 PM

              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. luckyfatima Jan 12, 2012 06:21 PM

              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.

              1. weezieduzzit Jan 12, 2012 06:22 PM

                According to my seed packet, the seeds should be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost or as soon as the ground can be worked so I'd look for it in Farmers Markets/ Indian Markets in the Spring if you are in a cooler climate- probably Spring and Fall if you are in a warm one.

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