Herbs are a cook’s best friend. Even an inexperienced cook can transform an ordinary dish into an amazing one with the help of herbs. Other advantage of using herbs in cooking is that they are beneficial to the body and even have therapeutic properties. A bland vegetable juice can turn into a delicious drink with the addition of few herbs. Hence almost every kitchen has some or the other herb all the time.
Though herbs are a necessity, when it comes to storing them, it turns into quite a task because they get dry, dull or swampy just after a couple of days. Coriander and mint leaves are always available in a bunch and it is not possible to use all of them in a single day. Hence it is best to refrigerate them in simple ways so that they remain fresh for a longer period of time. Here are some ideas on storing herbs in a refrigerator effectively.
Coriander leaves and other herbs:
They can be wrapped in an old newspaper and then put in a plastic bag. Keep it in the vegetable tray inside the fridge. The leaves will remain fresh for more days. It is best to cut the base stem and preserve the leaves so that there are no roots or mud stuck to it. This tip can be tried with other leafy herbs too. Alternatively, the leaves can be chopped up finely and stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Make sure they are absolutely dry and unwashed. Wash the required portion using a sieve just before use.
Wash the leaves in water multiple times, as it is often reported that curry leaves are most sprayed with pesticides. Then dry the leaves on a plate until the moisture in the leaves dries off. Store the leaves in a glass jar and keep in the fridge. The leaves remain fresh for days this way. if you want to store curry leaves for a longer time (say, months) microwave them for a couple of minutes, shake and repeat until they are dried crisp. Although the flavour is not as intense as fresh curry leaves, this may be your best option if curry leaves are not easily available in your area.
There are multiple ways in which mint leaves can be stored in the fridge for a long duration so that they remain fresh. Mint leaves can also be stored the way coriander leaves are stored. Take a moist paper towel and spread the mint leaves on it after the base stem is trimmed. Wrap it nicely and put it in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge. Ensure that the plastic bag is tightly sealed. Another method of storing mint leaves is to puree it. Store it in a glass jar in the fridge.
There is another method too though a little unique. Freeze the leaves in ice cube trays using water. These ice cubes with mint leaves can be used to add spice to iced tea or vegetable juice. Those who dislike using plastic in their kitchen can replace plastic covers with paper towels or moist thin kitchen towel.
Try these methods to prolong the life of your dear herbs so that you get to use fresh herbs everyday in your cooking which will not only enhance the flavour of your dishes but will also add to your health.