Mints, Anyone?

I love the flavor and fragrance of mint. To me Mint spells “fresh”, “clean”, “summer”. I mostly use mint in its herb form as a garnish or as a spicy condiment but it is also a blessing for an upset tummy just as well. I also keep a mixture of peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oils for the occasional aches and pains. This also works as a great pick-me-up to fight the blahs.

Coming back to the mint ‘herb’, the very first thing I do is to wash the herbs in cold water and drain off any excess water. Next I snip off any leaves that are spoiled. After this I select one good length for all the stems and remove any lower end leaves if needed (I always end up with a good number of them) and then cut the stems so that they are all almost of the same length.

So first with the leaves…

I keep some for the recipes I need right away. I spread the remaining leaves on a paper towel on the kitchen counter top for 1-2 days keeping them covered with another towel especially at night. After a day they dry up and shrivel in size but retain their fragrance. I usually give them another day to dry completely as any moisture left in them might cause spoilage. Next I store them in a clean bottle or jar and there you have it – your dry mint herb.

How do I use these?

I use them in pasta sauce or while cooking ethnic Indian food by crushing them and sprinkling over the dish mostly in the end to jazz up the overall flavor! Sometimes I also use a couple of leaves in my morning tea.

Now we are left with mint leaves on stem. What should I do with them?

I use them in one of two ways. I put some of them in a small glass jar filled with just enough water to submerge the ends of the stems and leave them as such in the fridge (a good way to get rid of the odor)! This way anytime I need fresh garnish it’s there. The other option is to make a green ‘Condiment’ or ‘chutney’.

The Recipes

Here are the 2 recipes of Mint Chutney that best accompany Indian snacks and meals. But don’t just stop there! Try them with potato fries and mozzarella sticks also! They can be stored in a clean jar for 1-2 days in the refrigerator. I have kept Mint Cilantro Chutney frozen for a few weeks. It becomes darker in color but retains its flavor (and that’s what matters, right?) If frozen, it needs to be thawed before use. I have not tried freezing Sesame Mint Chutney however. Maybe I’ll try it sometime.

RECIPE 1 – Quick Sesame Mint Chutney

Ingredients

Sesame seeds – 3 Tbsp roasted lightly

Mint leaves – 1/4 cup

Ginger – 1/2 Tbsp chopped

Green chillies – as per taste

Salt – as per taste

Lemon juice as per taste

Method

Blend all the ingredients together. You may have to add some water if the mixture is too thick. You can also add more or less leaves as per your desired taste. Add some lemon juice at the end!

RECIPE 2 Easy Mint Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients

Mint leaves – 1 cup

Cilantro leaves – 1 cup

Green chillies – as per taste

Ginger – 1/2 Tbsp chopped

Tomato – 1/2 cup chopped

Salt – as per taste

Lemon juice – as per taste

Method

Blend all the ingredients. Add a little water if the mixture is too thick but don’t let it become too runny. Add the lemon juice in the end.

So there you have – some interesting uses for mint leaves! If you have any other ideas or tips please share. I would love to hear from you.

2 thoughts on “Mints, Anyone?

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