Did You Know? Coriander is Both an Herb and a Spice.

Welcome to Did You Know Mondays! Did you know the term coriander is often used in reference to both cilantro leaves and seeds? In America, it generally refers to the dried cilantro seeds which are used as a spice both in whole seed form as well as ground and crushed form. Coriander seeds have a bit of a spicy, citrus flavor and are available in the spice aisle of any local store.

When preparing a recipe using coriander, you need to check carefully to determine which form is best to use.

One of the oldest herbs/spices on record, coriander was mentioned in the Bible. The seeds have been found in ruins dating as far back as 5000 B.C. The name is from the Greek word koris, meaning “a stinky bug.” This is no doubt a reference to the strong aroma given off by the cilantro plant leaves when they are bruised.

Although coriander comes from the Cilantro plant, cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are not interchangeable. They have completely different flavors and textures.

Coriander seeds are generally toasted before being ground to bring out their full flavor. It is a popular ingredient in Indian curries, particularly garam masala.

When adding fresh cilantro to a hot dish, add at the last minute to get full benefit of the flavor.

Recipes calling for whole coriander usually can use ground or crushed in its place. However, recipes calling for ground or crushed can not always have whole seeds used instead.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds = 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Do you have any comments you would like to add to this story? Please comment below and let us know! Also, join us again next week as we bring you another did you know segment.  We would like to thank my partner and the COO of Home Cooking Secrets, Pam Upton, for this great content!

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One thought on “Did You Know? Coriander is Both an Herb and a Spice.

  1. I love fresh coriander, it will give a dish such amazing flavor, I almost want to put it in everything. Its weird though, some think the stuff tastes like soap. Interesting how we process certain flavors. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html

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