A kitchen garden in crunched city spaces is a luxury few can afford – it’s about time this myth be broken. Even a tiny 8x10 inch box is more than enough to grow your own herbs and bask in the glory of using them in your cooking. Here’s the scoop on 5 everyday herbs and how simple it is to grow them at home.
Coriander is an indigenous ingredient in an Indian kitchen and having it growing on your window sill is a boon. A tray, with holes to drain out the excess water, rather than a pot, work better for growing coriander, because there is more room for the plant to flourish. Add soil, throw in the seeds and keep it in a sunny space. In about 2 weeks you can reap the fruit or rather the herb of your minimal labour!
A curry leaf tadka can transform many dishes from ordinary to amazing. There are two ways to grow curry leaves at home. The quickest way would be to transplant a sapling directly into a pot or tray in your kitchen space. Alternatively, buy the seeds in a premix and plant those instead. Besides water and optimum sunlight, you can add fertilizers to the soil once every couple of weeks – leftover curd or buttermilk works well as a homemade fertilizer. Wait till your plant is about 6 inches tall before you start using the leaves.
Dill / Suva
The aroma and taste that just a handful of dill leaves add to a dish can make it irresistible. To grow dill in your garden, fill a pot that is at least a foot deep with soil and add the seeds. Make sure you keep the soil moist for the next few days and the seeds with begin to germinate. Once the plant starts to appear you need to be careful about protecting the delicate feathery leaves from harsh winds. While plucking, make sure you don’t strip the plant entirely for fear of it growing weak.
A chilly plant almost looks like it belongs in an ornamental garden instead of a kitchen sill. To grow these beauties, just plant a handful of the seeds in some fertilized soil. Ensure loads of sunshine and adequate water to keep the soil moist and that’s all you have got to do. Once the plant starts to shoot, trim the weaker leaves let the healthy ones flourish. In a months’ time, beautiful little chillies will start appearing. Once they get a smooth glossy sheen, they are ready to be picked and used to add spice to your food!
If Italian food is a regular feature at your dining table, growing oregano on your sill will only add to the beauty of it. An oregano plant needs very little care – just plant the seeds in regular soil – no fertilizer or compost needed and keep the soil moist. In about a month your plant should have grown to about 4-5 inches and you can start plucking off the fresh leaves. Make sure you trim the flowers off the plant once in a few days as flowering plants produce less leaves.
Want to grow your own microgreens too? Check this out http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Articles/All-that-you-need-to-know-about-microgreens.html
Happy Cooking !
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.