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


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


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


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


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.


Lemongrass essential oil

Ooh!! the fresh, invigorating, and tingling citrus scent. It always manages to clear up space both physical and emotional.

I am talking about Lemongrass essential oil. I must have walked by it so many times but only this time it caught my attention! I wonder why? Maybe I needed a change, a new EO to add to my collection or was it because it “chose” me? I don’t know but as soon as it arrived, it got down to the serious business of healing all of us in the family who coincidentally came down with muscular aches and pains one after the other.

Let me tell you EOs are not magical shots, they work slowly but steadily. You need to have faith in them and patience too. The ingredients in the oils comfort us on a deeper plane while they fight the inflammation.

This particular lemongrass EO comes from the East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus). It is light in texture and smells heavenly like lemons. But it is capable of irritating the skin if used directly. So always, always dilute it with a carrier oil. I usually use Avocado oil as a carrier.

To combat the aches and pains, I use lemongrass EO along with two other oils mainly because of their chemical composition. The citral in lemongrass oil, menthol in peppermint oil and eucalyptol in eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory. They are useful in combating muscle pain and headaches. Peppermint and Eucalyptus also help in respiratory problems. All three oils blend well and are really useful in flu-like conditions.

I add 4 drops lemongrass eo, 2 drops eucalyptus eo, and 4 drops of peppermint eo to 2 tsp (10ml) avocado oil. This is about 5% dilution. A couple of drops of this mixture can be used to massage on the painful areas.

I also use a drop or two of the above to massage on the throat and the area under the collar bones when I feel a sore throat or cold coming. Alternately I use a drop or two on the wrist and palms, rub them together and inhale the scent. It helps clear the sinuses as well as refreshes the mind.

A couple of drops of diluted lemongrass oil can be also added to the face wash. I am not sure if it really does something for the skin but the skin does feel clean and fresh.

I also add 2 drops to a cotton round pad and stash it somewhere in the car. It serves as a safe air freshener!

So these are some of the ways I use this oil. Hope you find it useful. If you know of some other ways to use this oil please share it here. I would love to hear about it.