Coriander / Dhana

Coriander is known as cilantro, dhania or Chinese parsley. It is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, also deriving from coriandrum. It is the common term in North America for coriander leaves. Coriander is native to regions spanning from Southern Europe and North Africa to South Western Asia. The word coriander derives from the Old French “coriandre” which comes from Latin “coriandrum”.

coriander

Coriander is the dried seed of the cilantro. The seeds are round tiny balls. They can be used either whole or ground as a flavor in food and as a seasoning. The coriander leaves varies in shape and are broadly lobed at the base of the plant and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in small umbels, white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals pointing away from the center of the umbel, longer than those pointing towards it.

Coriander Leaves

Coriander leaves are referred to as Chinese parsley, or cilantro, particularly in North America. The taste of the leaves is totally different from the seeds. The coriander leaves are also used for garnishing. In South Asian foods, these leaves are used as an ingredient. They are often used raw. Coriander leaves are added to the dish immediately before serving. When these leaves are removed from the plant, they spoil quickly and lose aroma when dried or frozen.

Uses of Coriander

The coriander seeds are used in curries, pickles, soups, stews, curry powder and ratatouille. The essential seed oil is used in various herbal remedies and dietary supplements, and to flavor gin, vermouth, liqueurs, tobacco and perfumery. Chopped fresh cilantro leaves are widely used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking, where they are combined with the chillies and added to salsas, guacamoles and seasoned rice dishes.

Health benefits of Coriander

Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Then cool it and consume the resulting liquid. Coriander has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran.

Like many spices, Coriander contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. Coriander can also produce an allergic reaction in some people.

 

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