Coriander seeds Coriander Leaves
All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves, known as cilantro and the dried seeds are the most commonly used in cooking. Coriander is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, South Asian, Latin American, Chinese, Vietnamese, African and Southeast Asian cuisine.
The leaves, and especially the stems, have a very different taste from the seeds, similar to flat leaf parsley. They are sprinkled like parsley on cooked dishes, soups and curries. As heat diminishes their flavour quickly, coriander leaves are often used fresh and raw and added to the dish right before serving as a garnish.
The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. It is also described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured. They are usually dried but can be eaten green. Most commonly, it is bought as whole dried seeds, but it can also be found as a powder. When grinding at home, it can be roasted or heated on a dry pan briefly to enhance the aroma before grinding it. Ground coriander seeds lose their flavour quickly in storage and are best ground as only needed. Coriander seed is a key spice in garam masala and curry powder which often employ the ground seeds in generous amounts together with cumin. It also acts as a thickener. Roasted coriander seeds are also the main ingredient of the two south Indian and Yarlpanam gravies: - sambar and rasam.
The commonest use of coriander seed is in curry powders, where it is the bulkiest constituent, often rough ground to give a crunchy texture. Coriander is also an ingredient of pickling spices and pudding spices and is used in cakes, breads and other baked foods. Coriander is a characteristic of Arab cookery and used in plenty in Egypt. Coriander goes well with certain western dishes as well. Coriander complements chilli and is included in many chilli recipes, such as curry powder.
Coriander seed oil is strongly antibacterial against several organisms. The seed is an aromatic stimulant, a carminative, an appetizer and a digest ant stimulating the stomach and intestines. It is also believed to have a diuretic effect and used in decoctions that bring down fever in indigenous medicines.