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How to use herbs in your cooking

Herbs can make a good dish taste great. They can be found dried or fresh and can be used either way. Here is a brief overview of herbs that are available in the local supermarket and how you can use them to flavor your meals.

Mint - this versatile herb bursts with fragrance and flavor and is used in sweet and savoury dishes and as a garnish for dessert and drinks/cocktails. Great in smoothies or soups, paired with lamb or in pesto accompanied with chicken.

Coriander/cilantro – used a lot in Indian preparations of rice, dhal and meat dishes of mutton and chicken, coriander can be purchased as fresh leaves, seeds or powder. It adds a colour and taste punch to salads as a chopped garnish to seafood like prawns and fish. In powder form it is perfect in a marinade for lamb and pork and for perfuming sauces.  

Thyme – this aromatic herb transforms even an ordinary omelet, scrambled egg, soup or stew. Thyme is a great complement for grilled/roasted vegetable and meat dishes like potato, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant with fish or chicken.

Parsley- used commonly as a rice garnish, this herb is yummy when chopped and sprinkled on roasted lamb, grilled steaks, fish, chicken or in salads. Parsley can be used in soups and baking of herb bread. 

Basil- Dried basil is good in soups, marinades and vinaigrettes for salads, herb breads and omelets. It may also be used to flavor tomato sauces for Italian pasta dishes.    

Oregano – dried oregano enhances the flavor of soups. It pairs really well with tomato so is great to use when making pasta sauces. With pizza, just sprinkle it on top of the cheese before placing in oven. 

Lemongrass – adds a distinctive flavor and aroma and specially used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes. It is used in soups, sauces and Asian stir-fry dishes using chicken, fish, seafood or beef.