Coriander

Coriander Whole 

Coriander seeds are the dried berries of the coriander herb, but have little similarity in taste to fresh coriander. The seeds are almost spherical, one end being slightly pointed, the other slightly flattened. There are many longitudinal ridges. The length of the seed is 3 - 5 mm and the colour, when dried, is usually brown, but may be green or off white. The seeds can be bought whole or in powdered form. Ground coriander is a component of many different spice mixtures including garam masala and harissa, it's also good added to savoury pickles, chutneys or casseroles and can be used in cakes and other baked goodies.

This plant is a member of the Umbelliferae, or carrot family and is thus a close relative of celery, dill, cumin, caraway, chervil, and fennel among others. Fresh Coriander is better known as dhania (cilantro). The plant grows a small bunch of leaves before quickly forming a tall flowering stalk which produces numerous small light pink flowers. These little coriander flowers quickly produce the little fruits known as the spice, coriander, which actually contain several small seeds. If these coriander fruits, or seeds as they are more commonly called, are left on the plant they will quickly turn brown-grey, drop, and disperse.

Coriander Whole and Ground 

Fresh tender bunches of dhania (cilantro) are very different in taste from coriander seeds. Both are reminiscent of citrus, but the pungent green herb is light and lemony while the seeds have a deeper, warmer flavour rather like orange peel. Although they are from the same plant, dhania is not interchangable with coriander seeds.

Bouquet - Seeds are sweet and aromatic when ripe. Unripe seeds are said to have an offensive smell.
Flavour - The seeds are warm, mild and sweetish. There is a citrus undertone similar to orange peel.

Other Names
Coentro (Portuguese); coriandolo (Italian); coriandre (French); coriandro (Spanish); dhania (Hindi); gad or kusbara (Hebrew); giligilani (Swahili); hu sui (Chinese); ketumbar (Indonesian); kişniş (Turkish); koliandro (Greek); koriander (German); koriandr (Russian); kusbarah (Arabic); ¬_mellet pak chi_ (Thai); mui (Vietnamese)
Preparation and Storage
Coriander seed is generally used coarsely ground or more finely powdered, depending on the texture desired. It is best bought whole as, being brittle, it is easy to mill or pound in a mortar. Ground coriander is apt to lose its flavour and aroma quickly and should be stored in an opaque airtight container. Whole seeds keep indefinitely. Their flavour may be enhanced by a light roasting before use. As coriander is mild, it is a spice to be used by the handful, rather than the pinch.
Coriander Crushed 
Culinary Uses
Food Affinities

Category: Spices and Herbs

Sub Category: Spice