Coriander is a versatile and universally loved little herb that has long been a feature of Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Latin American cooking. But, it has an increasing popularity in all over the world these days. Unfortunately, growing it can be the bane of a gardener’s existence as it is a little on the fussy side and will ‘bolt to seed’ if it isn’t 100% happy. But despite its finicky nature, coriander belongs in every raised herb garden as once you discover its likes and dislikes you’ll be able to enjoy its pungent citrusy foliage all year round. Growing coriander is especially good for your little green thumbs, as it will teach them about patience and resilience and will give them a real sense of pride when they see a few sprigs atop their dinner. Coriander is best planted in the cooler months (March – September) in most parts of the country.
What you’ll need
Coriander seeds – try a slow-to-bolt variety from your local nursery
My First GardenTM
Good quality potting mix
Water filled watering can
How to grow
- Choose a nice sunny spot for your raised herb garden.
- Prepare with potting mix leaving about 3cm at the top.
- Sprinkle around ten seeds across the surface and then cover with at least a centimeter of potting mix. Water with a seaweed solution.
- Water about twice a week to encourage more leaf growth and feed monthly with a seaweed solution.
- Harvest leaves, stalks and roots often and sow more seeds every few weeks if you want a continuous supply.
Uncle Cam’s Thai chicken salad with coriander
A simple yummy dish filled to the brim with nutritional goodness that even little fusspots will love! Here’s a brief recipe:
200g vermicelli rice noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
400g chicken breast cut into thin strips
2 cups baby spinach
1 red capsicum, finely sliced
1 Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, finely sliced
½ cup mint, chopped
½ cup coriander chopped
Dressing – 2 juiced limes, 1 tbsp castor sugar dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water, 2 tbsp tamari (reduced salt soy sauce)
- In a large heatproof bowl cover noodles with boiling water. Separate with a fork and let sit for 4 minutes. Drain and return to bowl.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and cook chicken for 5-10 minutes or until cooked through.
- Combine noodles, chicken and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients, pour over salad and toss through
- Bon appetit!
Coriander is nothing short of a wonder food. It aids digestion and prevents flatulence, balances blood sugar levels, has antibacterial properties and is a natural source of fibre, magnesium, iron, calcium and manganese to support healthy active bodies. In Europe, coriander is considered to be an anti-diabetic plant and the ‘anti-inflammatory’ properties of this plant have been used in parts of India. A recent study in the USA has revealed it has a ‘cholesterol-lowering’ action. All the more reason to grow some in your raised herb garden today!