Coriander (Cilantro) paste is useful in so many cuisines – Greek, other Mediterranean, Indian, Vietnamese, Malaysian and other SE Asian dishes, to name a few. Sadly it is difficult to keep in The Kitchen for very long. One way to have that delicious flavour on hand at all times is to make coriander paste. For other ways, check out how to preserve fresh herbs.
Some coriander pastes are used for marinating, others for dips or fresh chutneys, and others for preserving flavours to be added to dishes as you cook them, in place of the fresh herb when that is not at hand. I am focused mainly on the latter one.
Coriander Paste with Garlic
This is the paste that I use most of the time.
Take some garlic cloves, about half a whole head, a bunch of cilantro with the bottom of the stems trimmed, a tspn of sea salt and a Tblspn of good olive oil. Blend all together in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender.
You can freeze this paste (in a zip lock bag makes for efficient storage) or place in a jar and top with more olive oil to cover in a thin layer, and store in the fridge. Remember that salt is the preservative in the puree, so don’t skimp on it if storing in the fridge.
I generally make this with about 4 bunches of coriander, and it lasts me for the year. I use the softer parts of the stems, but if you prefer to remove them, that is Ok too.
Ensure that you clean the coriander bunch well and discard the roots if you prefer. If you can clean them well, they can be included in the paste too.
A variation on this paste includes chillies and less garlic. Take 400g of chillies, 4 garlic cloves and a tspn of grated ginger for 2 bunches of coriander leaves. Add the juice of 1 or 2 lemons, 10 Tblspns of olive oil and 2 tspns of sea salt. Blend until it forms a paste. You can add to this 1 tspn ground coriander seed and one of cumin for variety of flavours. You can use less chillies, lemon juice and olive oil if you prefer.
A Coriander Pesto
The traditional pesto can be made with coriander, either leaving out the parmesan or using only a little so that it doesn’t overwhelm the gentler taste of the coriander. You can find a recipe for Coriander Pesto here.
Thai Coriander Paste
Chop and grind bunches of coriander along with Thai chillies, sea salt and lime juice. Add to stir fries or use to marinate vegetables and tofu.
Indian Coriander Paste
Chop and grind bunches of coriander along with cumin seeds and peanuts or cashews to make chutneys which go well with fried snacks like samosas, vadas as well as dosa, idli and sandwiches. It is a little known fact that this paste can also be stirred into soups, sauces and dressings etc for added flavour.
A Final Note
Always store coriander paste under refrigerated conditions or freeze in ziplock bags.
Have a Happy Day! 💛 Enjoy the little things in your life.