Coriander is a rare plant, which can both be used as an aromatic herb and a spice. It comes from the same family (umbelliferae) like parsley. It is native to West Asia and Mediterranean, but today it is cultivated in Europe and America as well. Fresh leaves are essential in the local cuisines from Mexico to Asia. The use and flavor of fresh herb and seeds are different.
Seeds are harvested when their colors turn from light green to light brown. After being dried for 2-3 days under the sun, they are sieved and left for further drying in the shade.
Coriander has a warm, nutty flavor with notes of citrus, sage, flower and pine.
Coriander works very well with fish. You can prepare a special blend by combining it with granulated garlic, ground ginger and ground cumin. You can use this mix for seasoning sautéed green-leaved vegetables like spinach.
It is ideal for blending with different spices and using in vegetable dishes as well as soups and casseroles. It adds a nice flavor to sweet-sour pickles.
When roasted, coriander seeds become more pungent. Try toasting the seeds in a dry pan for a couple minutes. Add them in your meal as whole seeds or in ground form.
Ground coriander seeds loose their aroma rapidly. Therefore, it is best to grind them fresh and use right away.
Don’t forget that unlike most other spices, coriander seeds become more pungent as they age.
It is easy to grow your own herb at home. Try planting coriander seeds in a small pot. Leave it in a warm, sunny spot and water regularly.
Mix fresh coriander leaves with mashed avocado, lemon juice, finely chopped fresh onion, chili pepper, chopped cherry tomatoes, a pinch of salt and some olive oil. You will have a delicious mixture, which will be ideal for serving with meat dishes.
If you make pickles at home, add a handful of coriander seeds in it. Combine them particularly with dill and garlic when making cucumber pickles. You will have more delicious pickles than usual.
When you serve green olives, for a more delicious and enjoyable presentation, try mixing the olives with lightly crushed coriander seeds, lemon slices and olive oil.