How to prepare dried mint leaves & use in Indian cooking

How to prepare mint powder / dried mint - This is an excellent way to preserve a big bunch of harvested or bought mint leaves. Includes uses of dried mint in Indian cooking.

How to prepare mint powder or dried mint leaves / how to save fresh herbs

How to prepare dried mint leaves & use in Indian cooking

Storing a big bunch of fresh herbs whether home grown, or bought is always a dilemma. The fragrance and freshness of herbs comes with a short expiry date. Drying herbs and storing in airtight bottles is one way to preserve them.

It also gives you access to the herb's flavour when you don't have fresh herbs in your refrigerator.

5 uses with dried mint in Indian cooking and recipes

Sprinkle on parathas to make pudina paratha

Sprinkle on raitas instead of fresh coriander leaves

Add to salad dressings for a fresh taste

Add to Indian vegetable and dal preparations for adding a new taste dimension

Add to lemonades, mojitos and spicy buttermilk (chaas)

How to prepare dried mint powder

1\. Start with a big bunch of fresh mint leaves.

2\. Wash thoroughly 3-4 times in a large tub of water till all the sand is washed off.

3\. Shake off excess water. Spread on newspaper or any absorbent cloth in a single layer till dry.

4\. Remove on a sheet pan or several trays as per quantity of mint stalks and dry out in shade for 2-3 days, until dry and crisp. Drying out in sun will make them lose their flavour and aroma.

5\. In absence of sunlight or drying facility, spread it in microwave and on High power, zap for 2-3 minutes, turning them around a couple of times in between.

6\. After two days of drying or microwave drying, the leaves will become crispy, and you can easily slide them off the stalks. With finger tips, crush this to a fine powder and store in airtight jar. One bunch of leaves yielded roughly 3 tbsp of mint powder.

The same process can be used to prepare dried basil, dried oregano, dried coriander, dried thyme or any such dried herbs. It is a good way to preserve large packets of fresh herbs when in season or if the supermarket doesn't sell small bunches of the fresh herb.

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