From the coriander plant native to the Mediterranean, we get the coriander seeds and leaves, also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley. The beige seeds are actually the dried ripe fruit and have an amazing complex aroma: woody, floral, citrus and a hint of bitterness. The seeds are primarily used in North African and Indian cuisine where they are a key component of many spice blends. They can be used whole or ground, raw or dry-roasted in a pan. Toasting coriander seeds brings about a dramatic change in their flavour; the citrus floral notes give way to earthy, nutty and smoky tones.
Cilantro, the leaves, has a slightly lemony and pungent taste and lively aroma. It is one of the most common fresh culinary herbs, appearing in guacamole and salsas. Do bear in mind that some people have a strong aversion to cilantro perceived “soapy” flavour, and some may have an allergic response to the aldehyde in it.
The herbal properties of coriander seeds are carminative, calming nervine and appetite stimulant, helping to ease digestion, relax the nerves, and treat anorexia. In Ayurveda, coriander seeds are considered cooling. Coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds are often used together in tea to address pitta imbalances. Cilantro is a detox herb and thought to chelate heavy metals and remove them from the body.« Back to Glossary Index