Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Ground mint
Up until last few years, I had never thought I could never buy dry mint from shops again. I sort of knew that it is easy to grow mint in the garden or in a pot but didn't really think it was this easy! We planted some mint in one of our vegie patches in the garden I guess 4-5 years ago and since then we have never needed to do much, really. Now, all we do is to make sure that it doesn't stay 'thirsty' and also cut it close to the ground as often as possible. It is a great herb to share with loved ones or neighbours as it performs much better when cut often. You cut it, use it, in a few weeks, it is ready to go again.

Now, how to dry it? Well, it is as easy as growing it. You cut it from the stem close to the root, make sure it is clean, wash it, put it on a tray with some kitchen towel or paper towel and wait until it dries. Once it is totally dry, which can take different periods of time depending on the weather and where you place it, you use some man power (it is generally Mr. Hubby who does it in our case) to put it through some fine strainer. The stems will not go through the strainer anyway, so don't be too concerned about leaving them on when you pick them. I guarantee you that not only you will save money, you will also discover a new smell and a taste in your diet. I don't think I can ever go back to the ones I used to buy from supermarkets. The smell and the taste of our homemade mint is heaps better!!!

In regards to how to use ground mint.. Let me give you a few simple and tasty ideas that you too may want to try if you haven't done so before. Lets number the ideas:

1. Mint in yoghurt drink. (If you don't know what yoghurt drink is, stay tuned! I will soon write a recipe for it. It is one of the most traditional summer drinks in Turkey but traditionally, mint is not included in it. However, most Cypriot Turks prefer it with mint. I personally like it both ways. If you are after a cold and fresh drink, give it a try and leave me a line to let me know what you think).

2. Stuffed vegetables with mint. Most mediterranean recipe books would include some sort of stuffed vegetable recipes in it. So did our menus at home as a child. They are healthy, can have a colourful variety which doesn't only look good but also offers different vitamins too. Try adding your homemade dry mint into the stuffing of one or many types of vegies.

3. Yoghurt Soup. This too is a traditional Turkish soup and tastes fabulous especially with the addition of ground mint on the basic sauce of it which contains olive oil, mint and - preferably homemade- chilli flakes. If you want to learn how to make this soup, either wait till I get around putting the recipe up here or do a little online search on it. It is one of the easiest and fast cooking soups. It is also Mr. Junior's favourite soup. We make it hot during cooler days and cold during hotter days (especially when out, the cold yoghurt soup is an excellent homemade food to bring with us in an air tight bowl).

These are only three easy and tasty ways of using your homemade dry mint at home. Enjoy!

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