I am an official plant killer: a fact that is well known in my family. This summer I was up for the challenge to prove everyone wrong. I bought several saplings of herbs that I use in my kitchen, mainly the usual suspects: rosemary, chives, oregano, thyme, sage, etc. I married into the belief that if you are taking up a challenge, go for greatness. With that in mind, Greatness here I come, I told myself.
After a day and a half of digging, planting, watering and more digging, I developed a deep sense of respect for farmers near and far. The next day, armed with confidence, I explored what I might be able to grow—not from a sapling—but from a seed. I scoured my kitchen cabinets and found my beloved fenugreek seed. (My mom-in-law fed me so many of these while I was breastfeeding my newborn as it is known for increasing milk supply and great for new moms.) I took a handful of the seeds and soaked them for six hours in cold water. I used the soaking water in my tea later and sprinkled the seeds in my kitchen garden, topping it off with some garden soil. Voila! In two weeks my little munchkins were in full bloom and I was a proud mama of two pounds of fresh fenugreek!
If planting is just not your thing, you can get fresh/dried fenugreek leaves and seeds at any Indian grocery store. And while the seeds might be hard to find elsewhere, Whole Foods keeps the leaves in the herb section.
Here are a few recipes worth trying, no matter where your fenugreek grows.
1 cup of loose fresh fenugreek leaves
½ cup of loose fresh mint leaves, optional
1 teaspoon grated ginger, optional
4 cups of water
Honey or agave, to taste
Steep the fenugreek leaves and grated ginger in hot water. Let the tea simmer on low heat until the water is reduced to 3 cups (~15 minutes). For a more concentrated flavor, let the tea simmer longer on medium heat. Enjoy unsweetened or sweetened with honey or agave syrup.
Fenugreek Roasted Potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cups of baby red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (skin on)
6 cloves of garlic
3 cups of fresh fenugreek leaves or 1 cup of dried fenugreek leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
- In a wok or skillet, add olive oil or butter.
- Let the oil heat up slightly on medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and let the seeds turn slightly brown in color. The oil should not be too hot because the seeds can burn quickly adding a burnt flavor to the dish. The cumin seeds should take about
30 seconds to turn light brown.
- Add onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Add garlic and then add potatoes to the skillet.
- Turn the heat to medium and let the potatoes roast in the skillet carefully turning them so they don’t stick to the wok.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Once the potatoes are al dente, add fenugreek leaves and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until the leaves wrinkle slightly.