The All-Star Herbs That Can Flourish In Any Indian Kitchen
Image Credit: Tulsi easily adapts to indoor and outdoor environments, making it ideal no matter how space-constrained your kitchen is. All photos via Pixabay.

Whether you have a compact kitchen, a small window space or (lucky you!) a sprawling garden, delving into the world of indigenous herbs can transform your food experiences (both as a nurturer of these plants, and as a cook). If you're wondering which ones you should start off with, here's a brief guide to Indian herbs that can work wonders in your culinary endeavours:



Tulsi, or the revered basil, embodies in myriad ways, the essence of India. This herb gracefully adapts to indoor and outdoor environments, making it ideal to plant no matter how space-constrained your kitchen is. And once your plant begins to thrive, you can incorporate tulsi's refreshing notes in tea, chutneys, or as a garnish.

Fenugreek (Methi)

Methi, a powerhouse of flavour and nutrition, has a long-standing presence in Indian cuisine. With its ability to thrive in limited spaces, it becomes an essential herb for every Indian kitchen. Add a sprinkle of fenugreek leaves or seeds to curries, dals, and pickles, enhancing their flavour profiles with its unique and slightly bitter notes. Embrace the robustness of fenugreek will elevate your dishes to new heights.

Coriander (Dhaniya)

Coriander, the ubiquitous green in Indian kitchens, flourishes effortlessly in any-sized containers, demanding little attention. The verdant leaves and aromatic seeds find their way into an array of culinary creations, embellishing curries, chutneys, and spice blends with their simple yet inescapable fragrance and flavour.

Mint (Pudina)

Mint, with its invigorating essence and cooling properties, is definitely a star among Indian herbs. Witness its quick and majestic growth once it graces your pots, giving a whole new meaning to the direction of "add fresh mint" that many recipes include. Infuse your beverages, chutneys, raitas, and salads with its distinctive flavour or add to cooked dishes.


Aromatic ajwain thrives in the confines of small pots, and its digestive benefits are frequently incorporated into lentil-based preparations and parathas in Indian cuisine. Truly an herb that marries taste and wellness.


Lemongrass blossoms in pots bathed in abundant sunlight, with its citrusy aroma radiating throughout your kitchen. It also infuses zest life into soups, curries, and teas, and is reminiscent of the best flavours of Asian cuisines.


Brahmi, believed to have cognitive benefits and perfectly adaptable to cramped spaces, is a valuable herb to grow in your kitchen. Incorporate fresh or dried brahmi leaves into your dishes, teas, or infused oils, harnessing its potential to enhance overall well-being. 


If you have a track record of being an absentee parent to your plant babies, these tips are for you:

  1. Opt for containers that are suitable for the size of the herb and have proper drainage. Use pots or planters with sufficient depth and width to accommodate the root system of the herb.
  2. Ensure ample sunlight. Do place your herb containers in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.
  3. Ensure your herbs have a well-draining potting mix that provides adequate nutrition.
  4. These herbs prefer slightly moist soil, so water them regularly. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
  5. Regularly prune your herbs to encourage bushier growth and prevent them from becoming leggy. Harvest leaves as needed, but avoid harvesting more than one-third of the plant at a time to allow for regrowth.
  6. Feed your herbs with a balanced organic fertiliser every few weeks to promote healthy growth.
  7. Monitor your herbs for pests. Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soaps to protect your plants.
  8. To ensure continuous growth, rotate your herb pots periodically for even sunlight exposure. Refresh the potting mix every six months to provide fresh nutrients to the plants.

Growing herbs in a small kitchen can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to have a fresh supply of aromatic herbs right at your fingertips. Follow these tips to create a thriving herb garden that adds a touch of authenticity to your culinary creations. Happy gardening, and happy cooking!