Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mint and more Mint - What to do?

My front garden patch is overrun by mint plants while the deer take a keen interest to the other plants they leave the mint, lavender and other herbal plants alone. End result my herb garden has shifted to the front. I can't seem to eradicate the mint completely ever since they took root a decade and half ago so I have learned to live with them.

Overflowing with mint

Early summer is the time when the mint leaves are in abundance, fresh and absolutely marvelous to look at. The thing is there is only so many mint leaves that can be used.

Leave them like that for a few more weeks the mint plants will start to flower and the leaves become mature and start to dry out. Though the mint leaves are available fresh and cheap now, the deal is in the winter months these very same mint leaves will start to cost a fortune and if I don't have any in my freezer it will be all my fault.

Harvested mint

So here is what I do, June and early July I start to collect more leaves than I will need for cooking. To pick, wash and store all in one go is daunting like every other monotonous task. Instead I do it incrementally. If I have collected 2 full gallon bags of leaves they are plenty and last through Winter and Spring.

Getting washed

I started my first collection today. Later in the season(late summer and fall) there aren't as many leaves on the plant I just get enough for making chutney and the occasional briyani.

Drained of the water

I have learned over the years that late summer harvesting of leaves is a much more tedious process than in the early summer months. The quality of the leaves collected now are far superior.

Packed for the freezer

Some recipes with mint,
1. Coriander Mint Chutney - Kothamalli Pudina thuvayal
2. Baby Potatoes in a spicy mint coriander sauce
3. Spinach and mint lentil fritters - Paruppu Vadai with spinach and mint
4. Quick and Easy Mint Rice


  1. Wowo that is a lot of mint you hav ein the garden. I freeze corriander and curry leaves like this well not from the garden but when i go to the indian store i buy a lot and then freeze it.

  2. Wish i live near u to get this super fresh mint leaves..

    1. I would have more than happy to share them with you.

  3. dry them and use as insect repellent, in small cloth pouches for the almirah and for making mint tea. I really am jealous of you Indo...I so want to grow it but my plants dont grow as much as I would like it to.

    1. Great ideas. The plants around the mint plant are also protected from insects. I use them as insect repellants on plants along with soap water. Works good to keep them away.

  4. After i heard how mint can really take over, I put them in pots so they are contained. Last year, in order to preserve them for later, I ground them with some salt & lemon juice (after washing and drying) and froze them in small packs (even in ice trays) so I could add some to biryanis etc.

    Your mint plans look awesome... and maybe i'll try freezing the leaves whole next time.

    1. Laavanya, I had them in pots initially but they outgrew and rooted on to the ground. Now they keep the yard green as deer don't like mint.

      Grinding them and freezing also works great but I am lazy so freezing the leaves works for me and when thawed in the thick of winter they are as good as fresh.

  5. Gosh look at that lush mint! If you lived closer, I would have traded some of your mint for something from my kitchen. I have two pots of mint but indoors, they don't do well and out on the patio, the squirrels dig em up. No mint for me :(

    1. You would have been more than welcome to relieve me of some of my mint. No trades required. But on second thoughts how could I turn down anything from your kitchen.

      They don't do so well indoors. They need direct heat and lots of it.

  6. How about drying some like kasuri methi. I usually get my year worth of supply(dry mint) from India as I use it a lot in my cooking.....sprinkle some on dahi/raita, add some to stuffing for's good for digestion & gives it a nice taste. And yes, I'm feeling so J of your mint......I know not a very nice thing to say when u r leaving comment for the first time(as far I remember it's first time I'm leaving comment) but I always wish for herb/kitchen garden like that....may be need to stay in touch with U :)

  7. the herbs looks lovely!
    Love the new look of your blog :)


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