Herbs are not frequently used in Indian cuisines as compared to the spices. However, they do have their own importance as herbs bring a unique flavor to many dishes which might be missing from your recipes. Different kinds of herbs can be finely chopped and added to the curry while cooking.
Usually, mild flavored herbs should be added towards the end whereas strongly flavored herbs can be added at the beginning itself. Most of the times, herbs are also used to garnish the Indian curries.
The leaves and the seeds of the coriander plant are used in numerous Indian cuisines. These seeds can be used in powdered, whole or slightly crushed form. The dark-earthy brown powdered form is used in most of the Indian curries. The fresh green leaves have a strong citrusy aroma. The leaves can be directly picked from the plant and chopped to garnish a curry or to add a unique zest to the recipes.
Basil leaves are sweet, peppery and pungent. They are used in some of the Thai and Indian dishes. Fresh basil is used in various recipes and there is no need to dry them. Basil leaves should be picked from the plants just before they begin to blacken. Also, you should use them as soon as possible as they tend to blacken and wilt quickly once plucked.
The leaves of the sweet bay tree are easily found in the dried form but fresh bay leaves are the best. They can be added to any curry dish to impart a light flavor. The bay leaves impart lots of flavor especially during lengthy and slow cooking processes such as casseroling.
From the onion family, this robust herb is at its best when used fresh. It has long tube-shaped leaves. It can also be used as an alternative to coriander or you can sprinkle it over a cooked curry dish before serving.