BBC GOOD FOOD magazine -India edition
Bottle Gourd Chutney - Doodhi Chutney

How to keep herbs fresh


Pune has become a place of plenty. Earlier on about the only fresh herb one could get was green dhania ( coriander) in generous bunches.Now you get fresh Thyme, Parsley, Flat leaf parsley, Basil, Sage and Marjoram , even though the bunches are quite slender.

One of the problems about fresh herbs is that they don't stay fresh very long and soon become a sodden mess when kept in a plastic bag in the fridge. Unless you go veggie shopping everyday, these herbs need to be replenished frequently, and sadly the day that I need one or the other I find a green mass of what looks like seaweed in the said plastic bags instead of  the nice, springy, fragrant leaves I want.

To circumvent such utter disappointment I have taken to freezing my herbs.

Blanch-herbs Herbs-in-ice-waterPack-herbs

All you need is lots of ice, a large bowl and a wire basket  in the same size as a pan.I use a 6 " pan and and a 6" wire basket.

  • First remove any wilted or damaged bits from the herbs , then wash them in cold water. Tie them into tiny bunches .
  • Now bring a pan of water to the boil. When it is giving off a good amount of steam hold the bunch of herbs in a steam/wire strainer/ basket over the pan and  blanch them for  1 minute.
  • Immediately remove the bunch and plunge into a bowl of ice water.
  • Shake of f the excess water and pack in a clean plastic bag and tie.
  • You can now store them in the freezer for individual use. Tada...herbs at hand everyday!