Coriander (cilantro) is sold as coriander seeds or powder.
What is coriander?
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) also known as cilantro, is one of the world’s oldest spices with recorded use from as long ago as 5000 BCE. The seeds have a fresh smell similar to oranges with flavours of citrus peel, caraway and sage. Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds, (which have different tastes), are used for seasoning. Our fair trade and certified organic coriander is grown in India and the imported to Sri Lanka for processing.
Belonging to the same plant family as parsley, dill and Queen Anne’s lace coriander is a small, hardy herb. Similar to its brother parsley in appearance, the coriander plant has a thin stem with bright green, fan-like leaves at the bottom and pale, feathery leaves at the top. Its little flowers grow in umbels, (round clusters reminiscent of umbrella ribs), which bear fruit containing two small seeds.
Note that in North America the leafy part of the plant is often referred to as the Spanish cilantro, whereas the seed is almost exclusively referred to as coriander.
It’s no wonder European’s refer to coriander as the “anti-diabetic” plant when recent studies are supporting its ability to control blood sugar and stimulate insulin secretion. Studies also outline its positive effects on cholesterol as it lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while actually increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Additionally, coriander seeds boast anti-inflammatory properties and are used to treat diarrhea and excessive menstrual flow.
In the Kitchen
You can find coriander in most curry powders and pickling spices. This spice also makes an excellent addition to soups and broths.
For a quick and healthy dish, sauté spinach and garbanzo beans with fresh garlic and coriander seeds, adding a pinch of ginger and cumin for zest.
Before using coriander in your recipes, revive the spice’s aromas by either soaking the seeds in cold water for ten minutes or by toasting them lightly before grinding with a mortar and pestle.
Keep a pepper mill full of coriander seeds on the dinner table and make coriander an everyday spice!
* Our spices at Kurundu are sterilized using autoclave technologies, (high pressure steam) and irradiation is never used. We are also proud of our high quality packing materials. A food grade triple-laminate preserves the aroma and essence of our spices, getting them to you fresh and free of moisture every time. No anti-caking agents are added to any of our ground spices.