Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. -Hippocrates
Fenugreek, known as methi in Hindi, is an important flavouring ingredient in Indian cuisine. It’s used as a herb (fresh leaves), spice (seeds or dried leaves), and vegetable (sprouts). It has a very distinctive, slightly bitter taste (acquired if you ask me) and is best known for its therapeutic properties. I grew up hearing all about its medicinal and nutritional benefits and now, digging around on the internet, I see that my parents knew well.
Growing fenugreek leaves, as well as, sprouts is easy. Even better, is that both can be easily incorporated into one’s diet by simply adding either version to a salad. In Indian cuisine, both are used for making curries (recipes to come). In my native Gujarat, methi roti or methi thelpa are quite popular (recipe below).
How to Sprout Fenugreek Seeds
(yields about 1 cup of sprouts)
- 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
- Cleanliness is absolutely essential.
- Wash and rinse seeds. Soak in warm water overnight.
- In the morning, drain and rinse with warm water. Place in a small mesh colander, place colander over a bowl and place a dish over the colander to cover it. Allow to germinate for 36-48 hours.
- Store sprouts in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week. They will actually continue to grow in the fridge.
How to Grow Fenugreek
- May be grown indoors in a pot or outdoors between 10°C-30°C, full sun to part sun.
- Soak seeds in cold water overnight.
- Drain the water, collecting the seeds. Scatter seeds over soil. Cover with a thin layer of dirt. Water and keep moist. Seeds will germinate in 3-5 days.
- For 1 tbsp of seeds, I use a 30 cm pot and harvest when the plants have 3-4 leaves. If you would like to grow the plants even further, then seeds would need to be placed further apart in a larger growing area.
Gujarati Methi Roti (Methi Thelpa)
This recipe is the same as for making kale roti, only here, I use methi leaves instead of kale leaves. If you are not familiar with making roti, you may want to check out my recipe for making traditional roti found here.
- 200 g (about 1 1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chili
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 70 g methi leaves, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 65 g (about 1/4 cup) yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- about 1/4 cup water
- In a bowl combine flour, salt and spices.
- Mix in chopped methi leaves and minced garlic.
- Mix in yogurt and oil.
- Add most of the water and start to form the dough by hand. Add in the remaining water, 1 tsp at a time, as required to form a soft dough. If too sticky, use a bit of oil on your hands.
- Divide into 12 balls. Roll each ball between the palms of your hands and flatten into disks.
- Cover disk with thin dusting of flour and roll out each disk into a thin, circular roti measuring 5-6 inches in diameter. Lay each roti on a clean, dry cloth in a single layer. Note, these will be slightly thicker than a traditional roti.
- Cook each roti as you would a traditional roti, but note that these are less likely to rise to form a ball. See my post here for instructions.