Thursday, February 5, 2009

Celebrating Coriander (And Tomatoes)

Seeing the title of this post one might well think, 'Why,
what's so special about coriander?' A herb that's been a
backyard staple for millions of households across the
world elevated to the league of some hallowed species?

Ah, but there's reason to celebrate. Regular readers of
this blog have often 'heard' me whine about my lack of
space. A ribbony strip on the western part of our compound
has been the sole preserve for tomatoes. They're just too
precious NOT to be planted! A tomato-less garden, in my
opinion, is devoid of a soul!! And so, this space has
always been considered tomato-sacred. Tomatoes in winter
and no other crop except okra in summer, on this particular
strip of good mother earth.

Revelation came to me only this year (please don't laugh)
after I'd not only prepared the soil for planting but had
also planted the tomatoes. I had sown the seeds in a pot
earlier. With the soil in the gaps between the plants
staring back at me, the temptation to use the spaces was
a bit too much! I bought the coriander seeds, soaked them,
and in no time they sprouted and almost every brown space
had a green coriander cover.

I didn't have to wait long for the picking, and the generous
garnishing for almost anything that I cooked! And now that
the blooming tomato plants are about two feet high,it's
almost time to say goodbye to Coriandrum sativum L.
In previous years I've planted them in wooden containers but
the thought of a bed, on the ground, was something I'd always
wished for.Well, even a shared bed is good enough! Hence, the


Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful to me! I have never grown coriander. Do you use it in soups, sauces etc.?

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

What a wonderful idea! I love coriander.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

That is a good reason for celebration!
(Gaps in the soil do just call out for planting a quick crop between crops that take longer :) )

tina said...

Coriander is not a backyard staple in my garden-but I intend to rectify that situation this year. I want coriander-to go with the tomatoes. I didn't realize how strongly you felt about the tomatoes and the garden. Cool deal! Great you could combine the two and save space. I am betting the tomatoes taste even better from the nearby coriander.

Carla said...

Don't you love it when it works? Your tomato and coriander leaves look so healthy!

Susie said...

Kanak-Is it necessary to soak the seed before planting? I do love this plant though. Yummy!

Chandramouli S said...

Yo! What a brilliant idea and yes, you should be celebrating it. My garden lacks the soul :( I'm worried about planting veggies (though my my insists) because of the danged red ants that herds aphids!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your post. I would've thought tomatoes and coriander made strange bedfellows. But you proved me wrong!

julian said...

Excellent idea! Fresh coriander and tomatoes must go well together too :)

Rhonda said...

Oh Kanak you have discovered the virtues on my favorite herb. Though I don't use it as coriander...before it blooms it is cilantro. I could not do without cilantro. It is sad that it goes to bloom so quickly which is why I must plant in succession every year to be assured of cilantro when I'm in need. There is nothing better in mexican foods, tacos, enchiladas, etc. But my favorite is a made up dish..of onions, cilantro, and tomatoes, mixed and refrigerated to get just the right flavor and added as a "salsa" with my famous parmesan chicken. Good for you...I can tast it right now..LOL Unfortunately, we are still in winter and have no fresh pickings for the kitchen...Uggh!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Mildred, we use it mostly as a garnish in our curries, salads and soups too. Chutney is an all-time favourite. Coriander leaves, onions, green chillies, salt, mint leaves are all ground together. For that a little zing and tang, raw mangoes (ground) or freshly squeezed lemon juice is added.

WWW, thank you so much !

Karen, that's right! Thanks for stopping by.

Tina, I hope they do. From now on, I'll be combining fast and slow-growing crops together.

Thanks Carla. It feels great, actually.

Susie, I soaked them because I've seen it done that way. Just helping them germinate faster!:)

Chandramouli, maybe you could try with a few veggies at first. Lol...the soul bit, I mean. Too bad about those aphids.

Shailaja, I'm glad I experimented. Strange bedfellows indeed!:)

Julian...and chopped green chillies, onions, a dash of salt...! Who needs a dressing?!

Rhonda, wouldn't something be missing if the garnish wasn't right? Your favourite dish/combination sounds great! And the 'salsas' work out very well for me too! Glad to see you here.

Thank you all for visiting. Have a lovely weekend!

Sunita said...

What a coincidence! I'm growing coriander for the first time myself. I just never got round to it in my other garden but all of a sudden growing it in my apartment garden is a major success !. I'm growing it as a companion plant too ... with my gerberas!

mania said...

Hi, Kanak, Greeting from Pakistan, this time. I hope you r fine and living well. I have replied to your comment there.

And for this post, i also love coriander. they are also growing very well in my side of the garden.

Recently, i have brought some more ornamental plants for my home. i am deciding to share it soon.

Must say, your blog is an inspiration.

Love from the other side of the border,

Kanak Hagjer said...

Sunita---Oh wow, with gerberas! Must be a pretty sight too. Happy chutney days!:)

Rabia, hi! I'm interacting with a Pakistani blogger for the first time! Thank you for all your words...I'm so glad to 'meet' you and will spending time at your blog as well as the links from your blog. Looking forward to it. Thank you for stopping by.

mania said...

oh you are always welcome. When I visited your for the first time, I have made my mind of interconnecting touch with you. But due to lack of time, I didnt make it up.

I am quite busy these days, visiting nearby villages in quest of some wondeful mighty trees.And hopefully i actually found some.

khair, Pakistani and Indian cultures interconnect with eachother in many ways so I am quite certain that you'll find something interesting in my blog for sure.

Love, mania.

chaiselongue said...

How wonderful! I love coriander, but whenever I try to grow it, it goes to seed to soon and there isn't enough leaf. Beautiful pictures on your colourful blog. Thanks for sharing you part of India.

Jan (ThanksFor2Day) said...

How brilliant of you to think of doing this, Kanak:) Your garden is most definitely soul-'filled'!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Thanks Mania, I'll 'see' you soon.

Chaiselongue, thanks for visiting and for your kind comment. I hope you have better luck with coriander the next time you grow it.

Jan, that's a lovely way of putting it. Thank you so much!