How to Chop Coriander Leaves

Coriandrum sativum is an
annual herb cultivated
for its seeds as well as its
tender, oval, jade leaves.
All parts of the plant
are fit-to-eat,
like ancient

Pull the stalks out just when the fruits are
juicy, but threatening to die.
Sun-dry, winnow, thrash with sticks.
Veggies can cauterize.
Sap is like migrants,
glued onto each
other, on
their way

Grab a bunch of dhania patta,
drown in a bowl of tap water.
Twirl for seventeen minutes;
The dirt will loosen—
Use your own

For chutneys and curries, depending
on your recipe, you may find
the heads give a nice flavour.
An old gamchha under
the cutting board gives
proper traction.
to be

Coriander is susceptible
to accidental negligence.
Herbs are moody, like young love.
Use a gentle motion—
the mezzaluna
a lullaby.
Rock the steel.
Plants don’t

Sahana Ahmed is a fiction writer and poet based in Gurugram, India. She is the author of ‘Combat Skirts’ (Juggernaut Books, 2018; Quignog, 2018). Visit her online at She is on Twitter and Instagram at @schahm.

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