Growing your seasoning – how to make a kitchen herb garden
Having a kitchen herb garden is not just therapeutic, but is the easiest way to ensure that you get a fresh supply of aromatic herbs to flavour your cooking, without having to pay through your nose. With the added pleasure of bringing a touch of fresh green into your kitchen. You can easily plant your herbs in ceramic pots and planters, or even in coffee mugs and keep them on a sunny windowsill. Here are 5 easy-to-grow herbs that you can easily grow in your kitchen herb garden.
Fenugreek leaves make an aromatic addition to many Indian recipes. You can add it in curry, dal or even add a few chopped leaves in your pakoda batter. But, more than taste, fenugreek is know for its health benefits – from treating diabetes to lowering cholesterol. Fenugreek is very easy to grow in any kitchen garden and can be harvested in as little as 30 days. All it needs is a good amount of sunlight. Soak a few seeds overnight and scatter them in a pot. Remember to prepare the soil beforehand by adding compost and having it well-drained.
The curry leaf is an indispensable part of South Indian cooking, where every recipe begins with or ends with a tempering of curry leaves. This is the reason why many South Indian households have a curry leaf plant in their yard. It’s easy to grow your own curry leaf plant in a garden or in a pot. All you need to do is take a fresh stem cutting, remove the leaves at the lower end and plant it in a pot. Now, place it in a warm and sunny corner, and water it regularly. This plant cannot withstand extreme cold, so you will have to take some care during winter.
Mint is a strong tasting herb and is required in small quantities. Generally speaking, a few leaves are enough for a recipe. So, you don’t need to buy a bunch from your super market when you only need a few leaves. To grow mint in your herb garden, just snip a twig from a fresh mint plant, remove all the leaves from the lower end and plant it in a pot. Water it regularly and keep it out in the sunlight.
To grow your own cilantro, soak some coriander seeds in water overnight. Drain the seeds and plant them in a planter 1 cm deep. Plant the seeds at least 3 cms apart from each other. The seeds will begin to germinate in around 2 weeks and will be ready to harvest in 4-5 weeks. Plant new seeds every two weeks to ensure that you always have a supply of fresh coriander at your disposal.
Basil is a delicate plant and cannot withstand too much of disturbance. So, assign your basil a fixed place where it gets regular sunlight. The first thing you need to do is to till the soil and add compost to it. Now, sprinkle the basil seeds and cover with a thin layer of soil. Water the plant twice a week or more if the temperature soars. Prune the plant regularly to encourage growth. Now you’ve got yourself some ready-to-hand seasoning if you’re cooking Thai or Italian.