Herbs can elevate any dish and what better way than to grow your own herb garden at home! Many of us don't have a green thumb but these herbs can all be grown indoors, requiring only some tender love and care from time to time! Starting your own herb garden doesn't have to be so intimidating anymore! 


Growing it

Starting with my favorite herb of them all, basil is happy as long as it receives enough sunlight. 4 hours a day of natural sunlight or if using fluorescent lighting, 12 hours is best. You can start this herb from seeds and place in a pot facing the sun. The best part- the leaves can be used in cooking as soon as they have been cultivated!

Cooking with it

This recipe will leave your house/dorm smelling like a trip to the Amalfi Coast. The infusion of basil, fresh tomatoes, and chili work so well together! 

Anoushka Gokhale

Chilli Tomato Taglierini- Recipe Courtesy of Gennaro Contaldo

· 15 to 20 cherry tomatoes

· fresh taglierini

· 10 to 15 basil leaves

· 3 tablespoons good olive oil

· 1 clove of garlic

· parmesan cheese

· salt and pepper, to taste

1. Slice the cherry tomatoes. Then roughly dice the garlic and the chilies. (You can remove the seeds inside the chili to reduce the spice level.)

2. Meanwhile, set aside a pot of water to boil.

3. Drizzle a pan with olive oil. First, mix in the chili and the garlic and then the cherry tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have started to simmer down, add in a handful of the fresh basil. Your tomato sauce is now done! Just let it simmer to the desired consistency of your pasta sauce.

4. Once your water has come to a boil, season the water with salt, and add in the taglierini.

5. Add more olive oil to the sauce. (Too much never hurt anyone). Once the pasta is cooked, add it directly to the sauce.

6. Mix, drizzle with olive oil, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Top with a sprig of basil!

Tip: You can save the tomato vines, and crush them to release their fragrance, to add to the sauce later on and then remove! 


Growing it

Rosemary not only has a wonderful aroma, but also acts an a natural air freshener! Use an existing sprig of rosemary and keep in a moist mix such as a seed starter, without soil, till it grows roots.

Cooking with it

Lemon and Rosemary Risotto- Recipe Courtesy of delicious

· 1L (4 cups) vegetable stock

· 2 tbs olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

· 70g unsalted butter, chopped

· 1 white onion, finely chopped

· 300g carnaroli or arborio rice

· 1 cup (250ml) white wine

· Pared zest of 2 lemons, finely chopped, plus lemon cheeks to serve

· ½ cup loosely packed rosemary leaves (from about 2 x 20cm stalks), finely chopped, plus extra picked leaves to serve (we used Woolworths Macro)

· 50g finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

1. Place stock in a saucepan over low heat to warm through.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil and 20g butter in a large deep-sided frypan over medium low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes or until well coated and slightly toasted.

3. Add wine and cook for 3-4 minutes or until almost absorbed. Stir through lemon zest and finely chopped rosemary, then add warm stock, 1 cup (250ml) at a time, to the pan, stirring continuously, until fully absorbed. Repeat until all stock has been added and the rice is al dente (this should take around 20 minutes). Stir through parmesan and remaining 50g butter.

4. Divide risotto among serving bowls, scatter with extra rosemary leaves and parmesan, and drizzle with extra oil. Serve immediately with lemon cheeks.

One of my favorite dishes, this rosemary risotto is delicious. After making this at home, this photo and I can attest to how rich the rosemary makes this dish!

Anoushka Gokhale


Growing it

This herb can be made from cuttings grown in the spring and should be placed in indirect sunlight around humid temperatures above 70 degrees.

Growing quickly, it is best used in the summer, and can grow up to 24 inches in height. This versatile herb is also beneficial for your cardiovascular and liver health, treats hiccups, stomach upsets, and can be made into a natural deodorant or toothpaste! Who knew? 

Cooking with it

Another tried and true recipe, this potato gratin incorporates tarragon in a beautiful way. This can be made for lunch, dinner, or heck, even breakfast! I could never turn down potatoes served any way!

Gratin of Potatoes with White Cheddar and Tarragon- Recipe Courtesy of Epicurious 

· 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds

· 2 teaspoons salt

· 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

· 2 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon

· 1 1/2 cups (packed) grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)

· 1 cup whipping cream

· 1 cup dry white wine

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Layer 1/3 of potatoes in prepared dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with 1/3 of salt and 1/3 of pepper. Sprinkle with 1/3 of tarragon, then with 1/3 of cheese. Repeat layering twice more with remaining potatoes, salt, pepper, tarragon, and cheese.

2. Whisk cream and wine in medium bowl to blend. Pour over potatoes. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender when pierced with knife and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let gratin stand 5 minutes before serving.

Anoushka Gokhale

These are just some of the herbs that can be used in your cooking adventures! Home grown herbs save money and is a satisfying product of your hard work!

How To Grown Your Own Herb Garden

1. Grow your herbs in pots or planters -that way they can be kept indoors on your windowsill or kitchen. Make sure to pick a container that will allow for water drainage, an important part of the gardening process! The pot should also be optimal for the size of your individual herbs. 

2. If you're just starting out, starter plants are the way to go. Seeds can take longer and are more difficult to grow. 

3. Potting soil, with its light texture, is better than garden soil because it allows for water drainage. 

4. The last step, but most important one for cultivating your garden is remembering to water with love. 

Anoushka Gokhale