Maintaining harvested seeds for cooking

Discussion in 'Food - Cooking, Preserving & Fermentation' started by OskarDoLittle, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hey all,
    I'm an avid Thai curry lover, (actually any curry) and am trying to grow most of my own curry paste ingredients...to date though, I've always bought seeds like coriander and cumin, because I've been re sowing the seeds from my plants into the garden. (If you cook with coriander, you'll know how many plants you need to keep to have it on hand all the time...damn stuff goes to seed so quickly)
    I've now got enough I think, that I'd like to start using my own seeds for curry paste. Can I just harvest the fully ripened seeds off the plants once they die back, or should I then dry them (I have an electronic dehydrator - it's too humid here to dry by leaving things out...tried it - everything went mouldy).
    I also haven't grown cumin before...is the climate ok for this in brisbane? I notice it's flower looks a lot like coriander/fennel/dill. (All of which I grow) can they all be grown together? I try to keep plants in this family somewhat separated as they can apparently crossbreed and you can lose their wonderful flavours from subsequent plants (or so I read) anyone growing cumin currently?
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I haven't grown cumin either! I have no idea why I haven't tried it but I certainly can't recall growing it...

    We don't seem to have many problems letting coriander and other spice/herb crops go to seed without going moldy etc.

    Sometimes in wet weather I'll remove the plant and hang it under cover somewhere.

    The dehydrator is good to use when drying leafy herbs. I guess if you are having trouble leaving the seed dry fully on the plant then harvesting and using a dehydrator would work fine.
     
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  3. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Oh sorry that wasn't very clear! They're ok if I leave them on the plant to dry, I'm just not sure if they need to be dried beyond that, or whether you can just store them straight off the plant once dried :)
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Sometimes once you put the seeds in a closed jar they will begin to go mouldy even though you think they are fully dried first. Very annoying that is!
    I saved madagasca bean seeds before xmas & they soon went mouldy even though I dried them under the house & bottled them on a really dry day. Maybe putting them in paper bags would work but the quality would go off really fast.
    I think you have to cut the heads off the plant once they are almost dry but before seed begins to fall out. Then hang under the house or somewhere dry like Mark says & leave them for as long as possible. Some plants are designed to drop seed progressively while others drop them all at once so you have to place a container under the hanging spice to catch the seed. Then of course protect it all from vermin & weevils.

    Using the dehydrator to dry the seed could cause heat damage & loss of flavour.

    The reason I don't bother to grow certain herbs & spices is precisely that it takes acres to grow enough even for my personal usage. And the purchased spice is relatively inexpensive compared to the effort of growing & harvesting it.
    So even though it might be a good thing to grow it yourself, I reason is that by buying those spices, I keep some poor family in a developing country in work & income.
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You can store most seeds straight off the plant (once mature) in containers etc whether it be for seed saving or eating.

    I have had some cases also whereby seeds have gone mouldy in storage but that was probably because of humidity or moisture during packing.
     
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  6. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    thanks guys...I hadn't realised the dehydrator could actually make things worse! (lucky I didn't try that then!)
     
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