Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Drying My Own Herbs : Pandan, Curry and Kaffir Lime Leaves

I am guilty of purchasing a packet of fresh pandan leaves only to use one piece for a recipe that called for it. What did you do with the rest?

I did what comforted me. I told myself that I will make more warm desserts or plonk it into my rice cooker to clear it off. Reality is, I never get round to doing it because I always end up with a different menu than what I had planned for clearing off my pandan leaves.

My crime isn't limited to just pandan leaves. I've done the same to curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves. It's wasteful!

Reading about the severity of food wastage has motivated me to make little changes in how I handle fresh food, including herbs. 

This is what I do for fresh herbs I don't use within the time limit  - I dry it.
From left : Curry Leaves, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Pandan Leaves

1) Lightly rinse leaves with a spray of water. Do this in seconds. Gently shake off excess water. Pat dry with napkin.

2) Transfer to tray. Leave this in an airy, shady area.

3) The leaves should be crisp dry in two to three weeks. Store in a container.

I did not encounter any mildew forming. If you do, dispose of it.
Average room temperature where I live - 28C.

Dried Curry Leaves

I have used these dried leaves in my cooking. My findings : The aroma of kaffir lime leaves remain distinguishable. Dried curry leaves are less pungent. Pandan leaves, on the other hand, was left with a very faint scent after drying. I use it when I want a really light hint of it on my food.

When it comes to herbs, fresh is best but in order to save, dried is better than nothing.

Bottled Dried Leaves - Pandan, Kaffir Lime and Curry

Another plus point ever since I started doing this is that I save money. I don't buy herbs as often anymore.
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  1. Every year I say I am going to dry my herbs. I've even dried my mother's herbs. But I've never dried my herbs. You are right. I should do it!

    1. It's nice to have company, Abbe. I'm glad to hear you're in. I tell myself the same thing year in, year out but I'm really glad I finally did it and now, there's no turning back...I hope...haha

  2. Sharon we can totally relate to the situation.....all the leftover herbs used to go waste...but since a few years we dry them too....especially curry leaves and bay leaves and they are such a great help when needed...great post,thanks for sharing :-)

    1. Oh, that's nice to hear. Thank you for dropping by, Kumars. Have a great day! :)

  3. Nice sharing, Sharon! Next time you've left over pandan leaves, put it in places where cockroaches are likely to appear. Pandan leaves are good to get rid of them, that's why some cab drivers put them in their taxis.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Shirley! ^.^
      I haven't seen one in a long time. I'm pretty sure I'll run for my life if I


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