Coriander........love it or hate it!
Coriander…love it or hate it, there’s no denying it’s an integral part of Indian cusine!
An annual herb, its attractive leafy green fronds brighten up the vege garden or planter box. The whole plant is edible but the fresh leaves and dried seeds (fruits), are most commonly used.
The seeds add zing to pickles and are an essential ingredient in garam masala, that delicious cinnamony spice blend used in our Rogan Josh mix. Toasted, they add a warm, earthy flavour to curries. They do lose flavour quickly once ground however, so best to grind fresh if you can.
The leaves are commonly used in chutneys, pestos and salsas (guacamole without coriander??? No way!) and to my mind my fave Indian curry is not complete without a good sprinkle of chopped coriander leaves as a garnish.
It is renowned for its difficulty to grow successfully, as at the first whiff of heat or stress, it bolts to seed.
Good for the bees as they adore the flowers, not so good for us as the plant gets tough and bitter.
I’m no gardener but I planted half a dozen seedlings in autumn and I have had a glorious supply of coriander all through our Marlborough winter to top all the varieties of Love Thy Curries! (Pick regularly to encourage fresh foliage). It likes a moderately rich, well drained soil.
It is best to sow from seed though, as it doesn’t like being transplanted… I was just lucky! Mine has now gone to seed, so I’m going to save some to plant again and maybe dry some to see if the homegrown tastes even better than the bought stuff!
On that note, whilst some herbs can be successfully frozen in icecubes if you get a glut of them, or turned into pesto and also frozen, I find coriander leaves too delicate for this treatment. So if you have tips on storing/saving them let us know!
And finally… if you are one of the 4-14% of people who can’t stand the taste/smell of fresh coriander leaves, and feel like you’re eating bath soap… it’s due to your genetics! Google it!