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Pictured above; Some Coriander seeds


Coriander, common name for an annual herb of the parsley family that grows to a height of about 30 to 90 cm.

Native to Mediterranean Europe and Asia, It is mainly cultivated for its seeds that have a fragrant aroma and a warm aromatic nutty taste similar to a combination of lemon peel and sage. It is also used for its leaves that have a vibrant to soapy taste and a pungent aroma. They are usually dried but can be eaten green. Ground coriander is a major ingredient in curry powder and other aromatic dishes.

Coriander is a basic ingredient in Latin American and Asian cooking. Records of the use of coriander date to 5000 BC. Coriander-the-leaf is also known as Cilantro and Chinese Parsley.

If the spice is bought whole in a non-dried form, it can be dried in the sun. Most commonly, it is bought as whole dried seeds, but can be bought in ground form. Store coriander seed in a tightly sealed container away from sunlight and heat. For maximum flavor use within 6 months and keep for no more than 1 year. It can be roasted or heated on a dry pan briefly to enhance the aroma before grinding it in an electric grinder or with a mortar and pestle; ground coriander seeds lose their flavour quickly in storage and are best only ground as needed.

It is a key ingredient in Indian curries and garam masala (Hindi name: dhania). It is also used in Ethiopian and Arabic cooking.

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