Green Coriander, (Coriandrum, Chinese parsley, Cilantro)
Green Coriander is the “parsley” of India and SE Asia — it is used ubiquitously in the way that parsley is used in European food. It is ground into fresh chutneys, mixed in with vegetables, featured in soups, cooked in dishes and used as a garnish.
In India, just the delicate, fragrant green leaves are used to make the most wonderful fresh chutneys, and it is added to dhals for extra flavour.
Stalks and roots are also treasured throughout India and SE Asia. Roots are used in Thai cooking, and are crushed with garlic and black pepper to make a marinade. The roots and stalks can be frozen successfully, and they make a great addition to stock.
Green Coriander is called Cilantro in some parts of the world (primarily the US)
Small straw-coloured ridged seeds with a faintly orange flavour are sweetly spicy and cheap. They are used widely in Indian cookery, and are often the major part of many spice mixtures.
The best way to buy coriander seeds is as whole seeds, and crush these before using. You can purchase coriander powder and if you buy in small quantities or use a lot, this is a convenient way to use it.
In Western India the seeds are combined with cumin, shredded coconut and other spices to make a “black masala”. In Kerala in the South, they are combined with fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns and red chillies, dry roasted and used to flavour dishes. In the North, coriander, cumin and turmeric are a common trinity used in hundreds of dishes.
Coriander Seeds also make a handsome addition to herbal infusions/teas.
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