Saturday, July 19, 2014

Growing Kothimbir

Last week Dad brought home a small bunch of Kothimbir or Cilantro for Rs.25!

Thank God I had already sowed the seeds for Cilantro in my pots and wherever I found place.

Cilantro or Kothimbir is the most favorite herb used in Indian cuisine. We give all our dishes a very generous sprinkle as garnish. We relish green chutneys with coconut or mint or just plain cilantro chutney with many a fried snack or just to change taste while enjoying a Thali meal.

But have you tried growing Cilantro? It is one of the tricky things I have grown till now. Many times I have tried and failed. I have followed the good advice of the Gardengeek but with no success.

Here is how I grew it, finally thrilled to see the fresh green Kothimbir. I am going be stingy in using it.

Take a handful of coriander seeds with a Hawaii slipper rub the seeds gently on the floor. this will split it into two. Now let me correct the notion here. The spice we call coriander seeds is in fact the fruit and when you rub and split it what you see are the two seeds encased in it. By splitting the coriander fruit we are helping the seed to germinate quicker. This is a great tip by Geekgardner. But wait.

Now in a 2-3 inch deep tray like container fill up the soil.

Sow the split coriander fruit and water lightly. Keep it moist and not soggy. This is very important. The seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks.
You will see the oval false leaves coming up and only around 4 weeks you will see properly formed leaves. 

My Kothimbir is in the 6th week now.

For continous harvest of the Kothimbir sow new seeds every 2 weeks. Pull out the roots after the 3rd harvest of Kothimbir which will complete 1 lifecycle. Meanwhile the new greens will be ready to use.

This herb requires less water and a growing media with low water retention.

Harvest : 
Use scissors to harvest the cilantro. Cut atleast 2 inches about the root after 2 more weeks when it is ready to use. You can get 2-3 harvest from it.

Cleaning for Use:
Rise in water to remove any earth. Handle delicately to maintain the freshness of the green leaves.

Some uses:
You know cilantro is grown to use as garnish and chutney but have you tried the Marathi Kothimbir vadi yet? You must I have 2 versions on this blog.

1. Kothimbir Vadi
2. Rolled and sliced KothimbirVadi


  1. Lovely to see those cuties.. Can feel the aroma here...

    1. Vijayalakshmi yes indeed they are new babies. Can't wait to harvest them.

  2. Anjali, 25Rs for one cilantro bunch? that is too expensive... I don't remember I ever spent more than 5 Rs for bunch...that was several years ago..time has changed..everything is so costly in India. Here we are now enjoying 3 huge bunches for 1$. Organic cilantro costs 2$ per bunch.

    I was not aware about crushing seeds before sowing. Thanks for the detail post...I will sow few seeds tomorrow.

    1. Yes its the monsoon here and the tender cilantro leaves get spoilt easily so it becomes expensive in this season. Winter and summer its pretty cheap but Rs.10 a bunch has been the going rate so far.

      Would love to hear about the progress once you sow.


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