How To Store Coriander (Cilantro) Leaves For A Longer Life?
Hara Dhania Store Karne ke Tarike
Coriander is the most popular herb used in Indian cuisine. However, it wilts quite quickly once harvested/bought. People are always looking for ways to make it last longer. No one seems to have a definitive answer. We have had a discussion about this topic on our Forum a few times. A few different methods have been recommended, below is a collection of them, in no particular order.
Generally, fresh coriander leaves should be added at the end of cooking, otherwise flavour is reduced. You can add finely chopped, tender stalks during cooking. Thai cooking uses even roots.
If you know any other method, please send it to me via the contact link.
Fresh coriander leaves
Stand the whole bunch of leaves in a glass of water: Remove plastic band from the bunch. Separate/loosen the stems and roots a little, so that the leaves have room to breathe. Remove any bad ones. Place the lower end of stems/roots in a glass of water, about 2-3 inches deep, enough to submerge roots or lower end of stems. You can place a plastic bag over the leaves, holding it tight with a rubber band, creating a greenhouse like effect. Keep in a cool place, like a shady kitchen top. This prevents the leaves from drying out. They will last for up to 10 days - Liza.
Clean the bunch of leaves, removing any dead/dry/rotten ones. Wash under the tap, allow the water to rain for a few minutes by leaving them on a kitchen drainer. Then spread them out on a towel for a few hours and let the water dry off. You can then wrap them in a cloth kitchen towel and leave for a few hours or overnight on a kitchen top to dry off any remaining water completely. Now you can store them as following;
A. Wrapped in a cloth or paper napkin in your vegetable drawer of the fridge: You can place the wrapped leaves in an airtight box or a sealed plastic bag. They will last a week or longer. B. Cut off the thick stalks, chop them up and keep in a clean glass jar separately. They are great for cooking or for making a Green Mint and Coriander Chutney. C. Chop up the leaves and tender ends of stalks. Keep them in an airtight tub/glass jar or a plastic container in the fridge. They will last for up to a week. Use them directly from the jar. D.Store in a ‘net’ vegetable bag in the vegetable compartment/drawer of the fridge. E. Dry the Leaves: Wash and de-stalk leaves, allow the water to drain in a colander and then spread them out on a few layers of newspaper. Leave them in shade, like a warm conservatory where it is hot. Leaves will dry in about 3 days. The flavour is quite acceptable - by Napier. Note from Mamta; Dried leaves may become a bit 'stringy' and lack flavour. F. Chop cleaned and washed leaves in a food processor, not too finely: Add a little water if necessary. Fill into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then store the cubes in a plastic bag or container. When you want to use it, simply open the bag and put one or two coriander-cubes into the dish, giving it enough time to melt and heat before serving – Steve Lister.
G. Store fresh leaves in an airtight box in the fridge without washing : Remove thick stalks. Do not wash. Place a paper towel at the bottom of the box and then coriander leaves on top, wrap the towel over the leaves. Take out the amount you need, wash and use. It will last for 2 weeks - Reeta Kumar. H. Storing in the fridge unwashed and wrapped in a towel: Cut the roots off and place the coriander bunch on a kitchen towel. Wrap just ONCE. If the leaves are a bit wet, place 1/2 sheet of paper at the base of a plastic box approximately 3 inches deep. Place wrapped coriander leaves on top. Leave the plastic box open in the refrigerator and do not place anything on top of it. They can last for 4/5 weeks and still looks good enough - Rajneesh. I. Freeze whole leaves in plastic bags: Wash the leaves under cold water, chop and store in freezer bags, about a handful per bag, enough to go in a curry as a portion. The trick seems to be covering the leaves with a little water, so the coriander is frozen in the middle of a block of ice. Tie/seal the bags and freeze. Use one bag at a time, straight from the freezer - Steve Lister. J. Freeze leaves as a sausage shape: Separate all green leaves from a bunch. Wash them well and dry them in a paper towel thoroughly. Shape them into a sausage by placing them on a cling film and rolling it up tightly. Then hold it together with a rubber band. Make sure that the coriander sausage is tightly rolled. Keep in the freezer. Whenever you need fresh coriander, you just chop off a bit off the sausage and use it directly in the recipe, leaving the balance of the sausage in the deep freeze. It can last this way for more than four months- almost in fresh condition - Napier.
Storing coriander roots: Coriander roots are useful also. Scrub and chop them or grind to a paste. Store in a jar, kept in the fridge. Roots are used in Thai/Vietnamese/south-east Asian cuisines - Steven in Canada.