Home > Cooking with Herbs > Cooking with Coriander

Cooking with Coriander

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 1 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Cooking With Coriander Coriander Seeds

Coriander has been used in cooking for centuries. The leaves seeds and even roots can be used, and have independent flavours and uses. Coriander seeds and leaves have a mild lemony flavour. The leaves are also known as cilantro and are used to garnish and flavour a number of dishes, including Thai and Indian curries, and salsas and salads. They are also used in many Latin dishes, for example salsa and ceviche. The seeds are used as a spice, used to flavour curries and soups. The roots are rarely used, however they can be added to curries or ground and used as a substitute for coffee.

Cilantro

Cilantro (coriander leaves) resembles flat-leaved parsley. They have a strong and pungent flavour, which some people liken to the taste of soap. Despite this, cilantro is a popular herb and can be chopped up and added raw to salsas and salads, or used to garnish soups and curries or sprinkled over a warm, garlic naan bread to serve with your favourite curry. In particular, they are fantastic when added to vegetable stir-fries (such as Chinese and Thai) and can even be added to poultry dishes for a taste of the Orient. When adding fresh cilantro to a hot dish, ensure that you add it at the last minute so the flavour and colour of the leaves does not diminish through cooking.

Cilantro is best eaten when fresh; it is sometimes available as a dried herb, however most of the flavour is diminished during the drying process. It is best eaten within a couple of hours of harvesting it and is ideally freshly picked from your own herb garden.

Coriander

Coriander seeds are used dried and often ground into a fine powder. Coriander seeds have a mild, spicy, citrus flavour and are used as the basis of many dishes, including Indian and Thai recipes. Coriander seeds are normally toasted before being ground to bring out their full flavour.

The ground form of the seeds is used widely in curry powders, providing a pleasant fragrance and flavour without any of the heat associated with them. The whole seed is often used as part of a pickling spice. The seeds also form an important ingredient in tomato chutneys. They are often added to biscuits and baked goods.

For an interesting alternative use of coriander seeds, they may be distilled to produce an essential oil. One of the oldest essential oils available, it is used commercially for baked goods and meat products. The oil is sometimes even used in liqueurs.

Coriander Root

While not very commonly used these days, coriander root is also edible. It can be ground and used as a substitute for coffee.

Summary

Coriander is a delicious and versatile herb, used in a variety of dishes including Indian and Thai dishes and salsas and salads. Both the leaves (cilantro) and the seeds are commonly used (even the roots if you are feeling adventurous), and have distinct flavours and uses. The leaves are best eaten fresh and the seeds are best eaten dried, toasted and ground into a fine powder to use as a spice.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    New Gardener - Your Question:We moved house last year and have inherited a large straggly mature rosemary in the front garden that we want to get…
    25 May 2017
  • New Gardener
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    We moved house last year and have inherited a large straggly mature rosemary in the front garden that we want to get rid of. But, we also want to…
    23 May 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Basil
    pollad - Your Question:Cut or not to cut the stem when harvesting, evrytime I read a website someone says something different.
    23 May 2017
  • pollad
    Re: Growing Basil
    Cut or not to cut the stem when harvesting, evrytime I read a website someone says something different.
    22 May 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: How to Preserve Herbs
    Fuchsia pink - Your Question:Hi, once I've frozen my herbs, how long can I keep them in freeze ?Our Re
    19 May 2017
  • Fuchsia pink
    Re: How to Preserve Herbs
    Hi, once I've frozen my herbs, how long can i keep them in freeze ?
    18 May 2017
  • Piet
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    Hi We have a Rosemary 'tree' in the back of our garden which has been there for years. Shortly after we moved in the neighbours replaced their…
    13 May 2017
  • McKate1973
    Re: Growing Mint
    I've just gone into my communal garden to check on the progress of my mint which had just started to shoot up only to find the little boy next door has…
    13 April 2017
  • Phyllis
    Re: Growing and Harevesting Borage
    Can I cut borage plant back in the spring; if so, how much?
    8 April 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Alcina - Your Question:MARTNAMM: assuming it's a specimen in a pot, not one you grew from seed, you can start chopping leaves off right away,…
    24 March 2017
  • Further Reading...
    Our Most Popular...
    Add to my Yahoo!
    Add to Google
    Stumble this
    Add to Twitter
    Add To Facebook
    RSS feed
    You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the HerbExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.