how to grow fenugreek

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

5th May 2018

Growing fenugreek (methi) in the garden or a pot on a balcony is one of the easiest things to grow. The seeds miraculously start to pop up in 3 -5 days, and in 4 weeks the fenugreek is ready to harvest.

Fenugreek grows well in spring to early autumn, especially when the soil is warm. It can be grown in full sun or part shade. The fenugreek can be grown in the ground directly or in a pot. I stagger my planting both in a pot and in the soil every 2 – 3 weeks for a constant supply.

To plant, prepare the ground with some compost and well-rotted manure mixed into the soil. You can buy the seeds from the sprouting section in the health food store or, as I do, buy from your local Indian store, the seeds grow very well. I sprinkle the seeds directly in the soil; however, you can sow in straight-line trenches and cover them with soil. The fenugreek seeds don’t need to be evenly spaced apart like other plants in order to grow. The seeds also don’t need to be buried deep in the soil, so a scattering of soil on top to cover the seeds is all it needs. Keep the soil moist, and within 3 – 5 days, little buds will appear.

I start harvesting around four weeks when the plant is about 6 inches high. To harvest, cut the plant with a pair of scissors a few centimetres at the stem above the soil. This will encourage new growth, enabling you to get a new crop in 2 – 3 weeks.

To harvest your seeds, wait for the pods to turn yellow before harvesting.


okra & fresh fenugreek palya


2 Tbsp peanut oil/coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp channa dal

1 tsp urad dal

500g okra/ladyfinger

3 tightly packed cups chopped fresh fenugreek

½ cup/40g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

½ tsp fine rock salt

to serve

simple everyday dal

rice or chapati


1.  Cut the tops off the okra and cut into uniformed 1 cm pieces. Wash the fenugreek leaves, pat dry and roughly chop. Set aside.

2.  In a large wok or skillet over high heat, add the peanut oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry, stirring constantly until both dals are golden-brown, a minute or so.

3.  Add the chopped okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges, approximately 5 minutes.

4.  Turn off the heat and fold in the fresh fenugreek leaves, leaving the pan on the stove to continue to cook even though the fire is off.

5.  Once the fenugreek is wilted, stir in the coconut, add salt and jaggery and mix well.

This dish is best eaten immediately with chapati, rice and accompanied by a simple dal.

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