Growing Coriander is where a lot of new kitchen gardeners start, it is a cool season annual herb, grown for the flavours in the leaves, roots and seeds. A common ingredient in Indian and Asian dishes.
A delicate plant that will do best when grown over winter, sow from seed in Autumn. Let seed heads form and drop onto the ground from a few of your plants, the Coriander will self germinate most of the year round.
Coriander grows quickly, and you can start picking the leaves when it gets to 10-15cm. You may wish to sow seed every 6 weeks to ensure supply. Coriander planted in late Spring and Summer will “bolt” to seed quickly and there is not much you can do about that.
Pick leaves as needed, they wilt quickly so store in a glass of water if not using straight away. If you are after the roots, then yank out the whole plant and wash well before using. If you are after the seeds, let the flowers come through and the seed heads develop and dry on the stalks – them pick them and place stalks in a paper bag to collect. Store for use in curries, or to plant your next crop.
Using Coriander in the Kitchen
Seeds are wonderful in curries, either used whole or ground to a powder. Leaves add flavour and decorative garnish to soups and salads. Chopped roots add strong flavour to stir-fries.
Coriander leaves are the “secret ingredient” in tasty accompaniments like guacamole and salsas.