I harvested a bunch of seeds from the garden the other day. Among them were onion seeds and coriander (cilantro) seeds.
Harvesting seeds is pretty easy. Once the plant has gone to seed (this happens after you ignore the plant for a long time), and the seeds are dark in color (black for the onions, and dark brown for the coriander), take the stalk of the plant and shake it over something to catch the seeds. You can do this over a baking sheet or in a large vase; just something to catch all those seeds. And, make sure that if some of those seeds escape, that you don’t mind where they land (i.e. if you do this in the middle of the lawn, you may have cilantro growing in the lawn. Personally, I like it when I mow the lawn and it smells like salsa!)
Now, what to do with all those seeds? First, let’s look at those onion seeds. Onion seeds have a mild oniony flavor, more like an undertone than a strong hit of onion. They are also surprisingly soft (don’t they look like you could chip a tooth?). They’re often known as nigella or kalonji seeds. And, they can be expensive if you buy them at the store . But, they’re free from the garden. According to Food for Thought, they can be “used to cure a variety of ailments; from indigestion to asthma… And if that isn’t enough, you can use the seeds as insect repellant or moth balls!” As for cooking, they can be added to flatbread, Spicy Tomato Chutney, or add about ½ teaspoon to roasted veggies. I found this idea for spicy lentil bites; they look delish!
Now, for the coriander seeds… They’re listed on the World’s Healthiest Foods. They have a warm lemony flavor. I like to toast them in a dry skillet to deepen their flavors. Coriander seeds can be added to chai tea spices. Toss some into a salsa for added cilantro flavor. Try grinding some with a mortar and pestle and mixing them into eggs for a fresh take on breakfast.
First up… I’ll be making chutney using these tasty onion seeds. I’ll let you know how it goes…