Cilantro (Coriander leaves), also called as Kothmir or Hara Dhaniya in Urdu language, is my favorite, most quintessential culinary herb with a wonderful aroma, which I love to add in most of my vegetable and meat preperations while I cook. The leaves are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, the B vitamin riboflavin and dietary fiber.

Cilantro or Kothmir

To plant and harvest:
Growing this fragrant herb is easy. Every Indian kitchen is stocked up with coriander seeds. Just sow a few of them into soil, water a little daily to keep the soil moist. They sprout in about 10 days time. I sowed a handful seeds in railing planters, as well as in a few used yogurt boxes (which I washed throughly, and made two holes in the bottom, before adding soil and sowing) and they grew beautifully.

Cilantro growing in planter

Cilantro blooms are the most fragrant. If you pluck a few, the strong fragrance lasts in your fingers for a long time for everybody to notice.

Cilantro Blooms

Cilantro Blooms developing into Coriander seeds

I sow a few coriander seeds, once every two months (optional: and fertilize them with manure), so that I have cilantro at hand whenever I need it. Place the pots outdoors in summers, and sow them indoors in pots in front of bright windows in winters. Make sure to harvest the Cilantro before it goes into the blooming stage.

To store Cilantro – I usually follow the subsequent ways to store fresh cilantro:

1. Discard the tough stem ends and spread out the tender (unwashed) cilantro over a paper towel as shown in the picture below.

Gently roll the tender cilantro snugly in paper towel.

Transfer this roll to a zip-lock plastic bag, squeeze out air and store refrigerated. Before using, wash required amount thoroughly in water, pat dry and use as required. Use the roll within 2-3 weeks. Keep checking, if the paper towel has become damp or needs a change, replace it with a fresh paper towel for the cilantro to last longer.

2. Discard the tough stem ends and store the tender (unwashed) cilantro in a plastic box. Place two raw eggs in shell in the box and cover with a tight fitting lid.

The egg absorbs the excess moisture and keeps the cilantro fresh for almost 2 or 3 weeks. Discard the egg after 3 weeks of use, and replace with new if required. Before using cilantro, wash required amount thoroughly in water, pat dry and use as needed.

3. An another way to store fresh cilantro is to freeze it, just like I do with fresh mint leaves. This way you can store fresh cilantro indefinitely.

Discard the tough ends of cilantro. Wash the bunch in a sink of fresh cool water. Swish it vigorously. Plunge it in and out. Remove from water and shake off excess water. Spread on a kitchen towel and let dry for 30 minutes. Now chop them all up roughly. In an ice-cube tray, tightly pack roughly chopped cilantro along with its tender stems into each of the molds of the tray. Cover with water and freeze overnight. The next day, working quickly, unmold the frozen cilantro cubes from the ice-cube tray and transfer them to a zip-lock bag. Squeeze out air and freeze immediately. To use, add the frozen cubes to the curries during the last stages of cooking.


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13 Responses to “Kothmir-Cilantro”

  1. Thank you so much for the tip on how to store cilantro leaves. I absolutely love cilantro, and use them in almost all the dishes that I make 🙂

  2. Salaam mona,you won’t believe I was just starting to write about my post about a cilantro recipe for tomorrow.I didn’t grow my own,but would like to link your beautiful post,if that’s OK with you?:)

    Yasmeen, you sure can! ~Mona

  3. Beautiful pics and post Mona, let our Govt. not hear about you throwing eggs.Egg is a costly thing here now.. 🙂

  4. Mona,, how do vegetarians store cilantro?? 🙂

    there is an idea.. cut the hard stems, clean, dry and store as long stems in a newspaper sheet and fold it like a mat or roll it like spring roll, keep it in a box and then store it in fridge. This paper absorbs the moisture and keeps it dry and fresh..

    Jyothi, when I have no eggs I do the same. I wrap the cilantro in dry paper towels, and store them in zip lock bags., but the egg method seemed to work better for me. ~Mona

  5. Thank you so much for the storage advice! I was wrapping mine in a very lightly moist paper towel and it just wasn’t working!

  6. Hi Mona…beautiful pics…i tried to grow cilantro too but they didnt sprout 🙁 and thanks for the wonderful tip.

  7. Lovely cilantro, you do have a very green thumb Mona!!
    Just wanted to ask you by the way, do you add any fertilizers from ur kitchen like strained rice water etc?

    Amna, I mix organic cow manure from time to time with the top soil that I use in all the indoor and outdoor planters. ~Mona

  8. hey mona
    thanks for info.
    can u let me know the best way to store mint and karyapak also.
    i love to grow karyapak at home.
    any suggestions where to buy and how to take care of karyapak plant.

    Rizruby, I have just sent you a mail with related info. ~Mona

  9. This is so informative, thanks Mona 🙂 I do have one question though. I was told that before I sow the seeds, I need to soak the seeds overnight and while sowing put the water I soaked the seeds in to the soil as well. Do you do that too?
    And can I get info on some other plants we can grow at home like mint and kariya patta?

    Thanks 🙂

    Tripty, soaking the seeds overnight before you sow them helps germinate the seeds, however it is not essential. Cilantro just needs partly shady-partly sunny area to grow well.
    Kariya Patta or Curry leaf plant grows well indoors in big pots in front of large bright windows in places where it snows. If you live in a place where its sunny and warm year round, you can grow it outdoors.
    For info regarding growing mint, you can read more about it here on my blog. ~Mona

  10. Salam Mona,
    am giving a link to this page.. 🙂
    hope you are doing well..

    Seena, Alhamdulillah I am doing good, how are you doing dear? Takecare! ~Mona

  11. hai mona i want to grow kuryapak plant from seeds that i have it.thanks

  12. Wrap vege in newspaper may have the danger of getting lead stained to the vege and intake as food. Lead is poisonous to body.

  13. Thank you Mona,
    Your tips and your recipes are food for my delight. I am forced bachelor (I live in Saudi and My Family in Hyderabad for children studies)and I cook my own food for better health. I am probably the most frequent visitor of your website.
    For preserving leafy vegetables, I use thick kitchen towel to wrap the cilantro in a roll and use it for entire week or two by unwrapping gradually as much as I need. This works perfectly (also I do same for Curry leaves and Mint).

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