When I visited my sister Banu in Philadelphia a while back I saw her use this amazing selection of dried herbs for a vegetarian chili she was making. The herb bottles were beautifully labeled and the herbs dried to perfection. My other sister Shobha and I looked at these beautiful herbs in awe; they looked like Banu had bought them from a specialty food shop, only to find out that Banu dried them all herself at home.
Drying herbs at home
I asked my sister how she dried these beautiful herbs, I thought they were dried outside in the sun, but that’s not how Banu dried them. In fact, she doesn’t like drying herbs in the sun, as they tend to lose their aroma and color. Then I thought maybe she had a dehydrator or some gadget of sorts, but no, she didn’t. So how does Banu dry her herbs? She dries them inside the home. That’s right! Not in the oven or in a specialty kitchen gadget or anything like that. She just dries them right on the counter in her kitchen or on her dining room table. Banu dries every herb she grows including sage, parsley, lemongrass, thyme, rosemary, mint and dill. Here is Banu’s method for drying herbs at home.
.Drying herbs at home Banu style:
- Pick herbs of your choice preferably in the early morning, this retains the oils and the fragrance in the herbs. Banu said she found the herbs she picked in the morning had a stronger fragrance when dried, than those herbs she picked later in the day which were milder in flavor and not as fragrant.
- Wash the herbs and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Spread the herbs out on a thin layer on a clean cloth.
- Every day for a few days move the herbs around so they don’t stick to each other.
- After a week the herbs should be dry enough such that when you handle them they have a slight crunch to them. At this point the herbs are ready to be stored in an airtight container to use all throughout the year.
- Home dried herbs have a lovely olive green color, a wonderful flavor and aroma, and look as beautiful as they taste.
Looking to preserve the fresh-picked aroma of garden fresh herbs? Try drying garden herbs at home.
The next time you need a few herbs for a stew or soup, just reach in the kitchen cabinet for your own home grown dried herbs.🌿