Newest Review: ... else, a little bit like citrus, but mixed with something far more distinctive perhaps aniseed. Coriander is extremely good for you, it co... more
My essential herb
Member Name: aksram
Date: 24/06/09, updated on 24/06/09 (94 review reads)
Advantages: aromatic, used in most of my cooking, flavoursome in curries
Coriander also known as cilantro is one of the commonest herbs used in Asian cooking. It's also known as dhania in India. Its botanical name is Coriandrum sativum. Being an indian myself, I use it in almost all my cooking- curries, chutneys, rice, and also in starters.
Apparently coriander leaf is the world's most popular herb. It is used extensively in Asian, Oriental, Middle Eastern and Latin American dishes.
It looks very similar to parsley but with thinner and smaller leaves. When I was new to cooking here, I bought parsley instead of coriander and then realsied the diffrence- they both have very different aromas and taste.
All the parts of the coriander plant are edible- leaves, fruits (when dried), roots and stem. I use leaves, stem and coriander seeds the most- have never tried cooking with roots. I remember when I was a child I used to call coriander seeds as 'tiny coconuts'!! These seeds taste very different to the leaves itself- seeds are usually roosted or ground and then used in curries whereas leaves could be used just as garnishing, or while cooking itself- in the form of a paste or chopped leaves to enhance the flavour of the food- it has a very earthy and pungent flavour.
Coriander also has medicinal value- it is supposed to relive anxiety and insomnia. My mom used to make coriander drink with just leaves and some turmeric with a little salt- never liked the taste but she said it is good to drink some herb juice daily- I still don't know what purpose it served!!
When you get a stomach ache either because of spicy food or menstrual periods- it is very relieving to drink the solution made with cumin seeds and coriander seeds- it is also known as 'khashayam'- just dry roast and boil both seeds together for a long time and then add salt/ sugar/jaggery for flavour and drink when cool.
Just a quick recipe on making coriander chutney-
Chop half a bunch of coriander leaves including stems and add 1 tsp of coconut (desiccated or fresh), one green chilly, 1 tsp mint leaves, some lemon juice and salt. This tastes very good with fritters or onion bhajis and samosas.
Now when you buy a big bunch of coriander leaves from a supermarket, you know what to do with the leftovers.
You can store them in a refrigerator or clean them and store in freezer in resealable bags.
Coriander leaves are sold in supermarkets in a pot, as a big bunch or in small packs. In Tesco, it costs 1.19, 79p and 1.49 respectively. In Asda you can sometimes get 2 big bunches for a pound. It can even be grown at home buy sowing some dried coriander seeds in a pot.
Summary: Dont throw away any part of coriander plant- every part is edible