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Why Grow Your Own Curry

Lemongrass, thai basil, chilliesin the kithcen

Delicious fresh ingredients are easy to grow at home

Mild, or hot, thai or indian – if you love your curry then there is no better way to get the full flavour out of your home cooked dishes than by growing and using your own home grown spices.

Chillies themselves are pretty easy going plants and can be very productive. However as well as chillies there are whole host of curry ingredients that will thrive with a little care. Ginger, Tumeric, Cardamom, Curry Leaves, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fenugreek, coriander, mint and basil can all be grown at home on patio or just on a sunny windowsil.

Today, we are so used to tasting and cooking with international flavours and ingredients and even small quantities can completely transform a dish. However when they are flown around the world, these specialist ingredients are often really expensive and have lost a lot of their flavour but the time they reach us. If not dried, they are certainly less than fresh and in some areas of the country it’s pretty hard to get hold of them at all.

The good news is, that despite their exotic origins some of these most expensive and hard to source herbs and spices are suprisingly simply to grow in the UK. This summer with the relaunch of our ‘grow your own curry’ range online, we’re making it our mission to get more and more of you involved in trying these herbs and spices at home.

Not only will your home grown curry ingredients be fresher, tastier and healthier than anything you can buy in the shops they will be pesticide free and you can have a ready made supply on your windowsil whenever you need them.

Freshly harvested curry ingredients

Fresh Curry Ingredients all grown and picked in Sussex today

And if that wasn’t enough, when you grow these ingredients at home, you can use the whole of the plant not just the dried and processed parts found in the shops. The fruits and zest from a kaffir lime have an amazing flavour, the fragrant tips of the lemongrass plant are subtley different and fresher than the imported wood stems or what about trying turmeric leaves as wraps, not just the dried powder that you normally see?

Over the summer months we will be adding more and more ‘how to’ posts to get you started at home as well as some ideas of how to use fresh ingredients in inventive ways. We will be presenting talks at Hampton Court Flower Show in July but in the meantime we would love to hear from you about your favourite recipes using home grown curry ingredients.

Growing at home opens up a new field of flavours and if like me, you love to experiment then the possibilities are endless!

Using fresh herbs

Fresh curry leaves and purple basil make a simple tasty topping on cottage cheese

We grow over a thousand chillies and hundreds of other herbs and spices at our nursery in Sussex so we are really spoilt for your choice when pottering in the kitchen. However even in a really small space it’s amazing how much you can produce and how much of a real difference just a couple of plants will make to your cooking.

Fired up and ready to get started but missed the boat on sowing early?

Don’t wory  you can buy mature chilli plants, chilli selections, thai curry and indian curry gift sets directly from our main gift website at www.plants4presents.co.uk

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