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Growing herbs at home

You can grow coriander in shallow six inch-high terracotta, stone or plastic containers, writes Hema Vijay

Food seasoning with herbs work best when they are fresh, and how much more fresh can these herbs get than from being plucked right when you are cooking the dish? Here is how you can grow coriander herbs in your kitchen.

An encouraging factor is that coriander or Coriandrum sativum is very easy to grow at home, giving you the choice of home-grown, fresh herbs as and when you want them.

Take a shallow, six inch-high terra cotta, stone or plastic container. Make a drain hole in the pot and of course, do not forget to place a plastic plate under the planter pot so that the place doesn’t get messy with water and soil spillage.

Take care

Coriander seedlings can be obtained from nurseries. “While planting them, take care that you don’t harm their tender roots,” says landscape architect Navneeth Raghavan. You may also grow them from dry coriander seeds or dhania.

Break the dhania seeds into halves by crushing them before planting them in the soil, Navneeth advises.

Use a soil mixture that consists of one part sand, two parts red earth and one part manure. Sprinkle water daily, but take care not to wet the leaves.

Coriander seedlings would begin to sprout from the soil in a few days.

To ensure that you are left with a few seedlings right through, keep planting some coriander seeds whenever you harvest some of the herbs along with the roots.

Coriander herbs can reach a maximum of 30 to 40 cm.

Heating reduces the flavour of coriander leaves substantially, so sprinkle coriander leaves over your dishes after cooking is complete or just before serving.

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