Friday, July 8, 2011

Growing and harvesting Fenugreek(methi) leaves

In our house, dishes made from methi leaves are very popular.  It is used in various curries or parathas.  Here are some of its health benefits and recipes. Whenever we can find fresh bunches of methi leaves in Indian stores, we always get a bunch or two.  But that is not very often.  Wilted bunches or no methi at all is much more common.  I've heard friends growing methi in their backyards, in summer.  My attempt so far has always met with failure. I couldn't quite figure out what went wrong.  They never seem to grow much more than an inch and a half before leaves turn yellow and the plants bolt.
Methi plants gone to seed (:

The ones available in stores or even in farmers market grow atleast a foot tall with several sets of leaves.  This year, I researched online to see what everyone else had to say about growing methi at home.  I happened to find this on youtube -, which was very helpful to me as my plants were at about the same height.

Second attempt to grow methi, this year.

I decided to make use of the existing leaves since I had a feeling that they too would bolt soon.  So I clipped them off, just like in the video above.  I got a container full of leaves, which will be used in two different dishes.  Really glad I did, as they were fresh and crisp and the dish prepared for dinner was very tasty.  I plan to plant more seeds in a few days.  It took about a month from seeding to harvesting, which is a really good turnaround time :)

Clipping off methi leaves

That's how tall(or short) they were!

I got a container full :)


  1. I've never heard of these leaves before. What do they taste like?

  2. They're slightly bitter, though you'd never realise it when a dish is prepared!

  3. You have clipped off the leaves and left the remaining stem as it is. Will it grow back again?

  4. I am having the same problem as u in Chiangmai Thailand they go yellow soon so I clip them when theyr 2 inches in height

  5. How long does it take to grow them??
    One week or one and a half week??

    1. It takes like 3-4 weeks! You can look on the Indian spices board here: for tips on what climate works them best.

  6. Love fenugreek seeds, they smell like gorgeous caramel, honey. Very different from the taste though, but we couldn't call ourselves true Indians without using them everywhere!

    Really cool pics showing the process :) love it!

  7. Fenugreek smells a lot like maple or caramel. Which isn't surprising since Sotolon (The maple smelling compound) is found in both Fenugreek/Maple.

    I'm about 3 weeks into growing Fenugreek now, got 18 cents worth of Fenugreek seeds at Bulk Barn and now I got several decent sized batches about ready to harvest.

    Honestly I'd rather just buy the stuff, but no one sells it. The best I could do is find the seeds, but I wanted the leaves. But anyway, problem solved thanks to this blog and other resources.