Herbs can make any dish taste delicious, they add subtle layers of flavour, which highlight other ingredients. Because the flavour of herbs can vary widely from season to season, it is better you always taste a bit before you decide how much to add. So, here you will get to know the best herbs to use in cooking meals.
Delicate fresh herbs like parsley, basil, chives, dill and coriander are generally chopped or torn and added at the end of cooking to maximize their impact of flavour.
Healthier herbs like oregano, thyme and rosemary can be added earlier in the cooking process to allow their flavours to completely infuse your dish with their aroma. For example, basil's faint flavour brightens lemon sorbet, while rosemary better complements chicken and fish skewers.
Have a look at the best herbs to use in cooking.
Basil is one of the most important culinary herbs, which is used for making pesto. Basil is used in sauces, sandwiches, salads and soups and they can be paired well with tomatoes as well while making a tomato salad. Basil also goes well with mozzarella cheese, olive oil and feta cheese. It also can be used in almost every type of meat or seafood. Asian basil has a more distinct flavour and is often used in stir fries, curry pastes and soups.
Parsley is one of the most common and versatile herbs used in cooking. It has a light peppery flavour that complements other seasoning. Parsley is most often used in salads, sauces and sprinkled over dishes at the end of cooking. Parsley has high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C helps to maintain a healthy gut environment.
Cilantro is also known as coriander, which has an enriching flavour used in almost all types of cooking. Many people are actually addicted to its bright refreshing flavour and it's a staple of Latin and Asian cooking. The sweet stems and leaves of cilantro or coriander are usually eaten raw and also added in cooking. Cilantro has many health benefits, like it helps in getting rid of heavy metals from the body, protects against oxidative stress, lowers blood sugar levels, prevents urinary tract infections, etc.
Mint is another common herb associated with sweet treats, it has a cooling property and adds a cooling flavour to the dishes. Fresh mint is perfect for fresh summer salads, and added in sauces and teas. Mint is a great appetizer which promotes digestion and soothes the stomach in case of indigestion or inflammation. When you are having stomach-related problems, drink a cup of mint tea to provide you a relief.
Rosemary has a pungent flavour and is used in fresh or dried form in cooking. This herb is added to soups, stew or sauces and it is one of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs. Rosemary has additional benefits from boosting memory, relieving mood and stress, boosting immunity, soothing stomach, freshening the breath, stimulating the blood flow to relieving the pain.
Thyme can be paired with vegetables, fish, meat or poultry. The benefits of thyme are immense. Because the flowers, leaves and oil of thyme have been used to treat diarrhoea, stomach ache, arthritis, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, flatulence. Thyme is also packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. Thyme can also help treat cold and flu. It is a good source of copper, fibre, iron and manganese too.
Oregano is another herb which is mostly used in pasta, pizza and other Italian dishes. The Greeks loved using oregano by sprinkling them on salads. It is a pungent herb; dried oregano can be substituted for fresh oregano as well. This herb has many health benefits by providing antioxidants for the proper functioning of the immune system. It contains anti-inflammatory properties and has cancer-fighting properties.
The dill herb provides a pleasant anise-like flavour to soups, seafoods, salads and sauces. The subtle taste of dill makes an excellent compliment to foods with delicate flavours like shellfish and fish. It is also paired well with potato salads, cold yogurt soups, cream cheese, goat cheese and all kinds of cucumber dishes. The benefits of dill include helping in reducing menstrual cramps, lowering cholesterol, helping reduce depression, may treat epilepsy, contains antimicrobial effects and protects against free radicals.
Chives add a similar flavour to onion. Their pungent flavour and the delicateness adds a different colour and flavour to your dishes. They are low in calories but high on beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 1 tablespoon containing 3 grams of chopped chives has 1 calorie and less than 1 gram of protein, fat and carbohydrate.
Sage is particularly used in dishes like pork, beans, potatoes, cheese and in brown butter sauce. Sage is an excellent source of fibre, calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, manganese and B vitamins such as folic acid, thiamine and riboflavin. Plus, this herb has healthy amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine and copper.
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