Thursday, June 23, 2005

Growing my own methi (fenugreek) leaves

I dont get fresh fenugreek (methi) greens in any "English" supermarket around where I live. The closest place it's available is Telford, about 20 miles away. Even there, you can only get it on a Wednesday. And even then, ONLY if you're there by 10 a.m, which is when the little Indian grocery shop gets its weekly supply of fresh vegetables. You have to be there within half an hour of the fresh stock arriving. Go there even by noon, and the fresh greens (whether it's methi, varieties of spinach or coriander leaves) are all sold out, snapped up by the local Indians and Jamaicans. Since I dont drive, I only rarely get fresh greens from that shop - usually I manage to cadge a ride from Pete when he has some work at a client company in Telford.

Given this situation, I've thought on and off about trying to grow my own methi greens. Didnt get around to it, however, because I didnt have enough fenugreek seeds to spare. But on my latest trip to Birmingham, I got a bag of seeds for the express purpose of trying to grow them. The idea of germinating them before planting them came from Nupur (food blog: One Hot Stove). Her post
Primer on sprouting lentils was a great help!

So I soaked the hard brown fenugreek seeds for a day, then wrapped them up in damp cheesecloth for 4-5 hours - by which time they were sprouting little green shoots. Then I dumped half of them into a pot of virgin compost, and the rest in a small area that I cleared in the back garden. This was on Sunday. And what with the strong sunlight and the torrential rains we had, the sprouts grew an entire inch in just a day!

Here they are, growing very nicely indeed:

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Cant wait for them to grow up so I can use my very own fresh, home-grown methi greens!


Anonymous said...

Wow.. You did it. I bet they taste better than the shop bought ones.
I do grow pudina and coriander at home. I never even thought of growing my own methi. Now, I am going to do it Shammi.

Anonymous said...

I grow my own mint and coriander too, Indira :) I have about 11 different herbs (3-4 varieties of mint alone), although I dont use them all. They just look so nice! :)

pk said...

I use to grow Coriander and methi not anymore. One quick question what do u do during winter, do they die or do u bring them inside. We a pretty bad winter lots of snow.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kal, I've never grown methi before, so I dunno how they manage in winter. I expect I'll have to bring them indoors - or at the very least, into the conservatory.

Nupur said...

Wow Shammi they look absolutely darling! I am so glad its working out well. You could start supplying them to the local supermarket soon :)

Nupur said...

Shammi, you have been tagged ! For the meme...The cook next door...questions are on my blog. Hope you enjoy writing this meme!

zendegy said...

i LOVE methi!!! so, inspired by you, i started my own. they started great, but keep dying on me, poor little things. i wonder did you have any trouble or did it just grow nicely all along?

Shammi said...

this is: They shouldnt die on you... unless you're over-watering them. Or under-watering them. I havent had any trouble growing methi (touch wood).

Anonymous said...

Hi, was looking up how to grow methi.
I came across your site. Am growing
Methi in a container in compost outs
Ide but its not as green as the one
You buy in the shop and doesn't smell
Very pungently of methi either! Am
Unsure whether to leave it and see
What happens or scrap it! Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I also grow fenugreek in pots around mt window grill

Jagjit Singh

Arthur said...

I've been growing Methi for years! This year's planting was from seed bought as a spice about 5 years ago. Even now, it gives almost 100% germination. Sow in a seed tray about 10mm deep and keep it in a warm place (about 22deg C). Germination usually happens in 1 to 3 days. Move the seedlings into individual pots after the first pair of true leaves appear.At least here in the Channel Islands, you can plant out in the garden or in large pots from about June onwards - in cooler places, use large pots indoors. We tend to let the plants go to seed, then harvest the seed pods and grind them as required.