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Also Known as
Dhania seeds, akha dhania, kothamalli verai
Coriander is one of the oldest of herbs and spices. The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds which, when dried, are the portions used as the dried spice. When ripe, the seeds are yellowish-brown or tan in colour with longitudinal ridges.
Coriander seed has a warm and subtle flavour with a slight citrus hint. It has an aromatic scent that is soothingly warm, nutty, slightly fruity, and complex. Coriander seeds are available throughout the year, in whole or in ground powder form.
Crushed coriander seeds
To crush the coriander seeds, first clean and dry roast the seeds lightly till light aroma comes out from the seeds. Cool and place them between a clean cloth and crush using a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle into coarse or fine powder. Use as per the recipe requirement. For crushed seeds, you can use both whole or split coriander seeds. Store the crushed seeds in a clean dry air-tight container and keep away from humidity.
How to Select
• Select clean, uniform dried seeds with wavy ridges, varying from cream to light beige colour, and having a good aroma.
• Avoid buying damaged and blackened seeds.
• Always buy from a good source to avoid contamination with stones and other debris.
• It is preferable to buy whole seeds. Toast them lightly and grind whenever needed in powder form. Do not stock too much of coriander seeds powder as it will lose its aroma.
• Coriander seeds hold a prominent position in the Indian kitchen, to flavour many sweet and savoury preparations.
• Apart from being used whole, coriander seeds can also be powdered. They are generally toasted before being ground to bring out their full flavour.
• In Indian dishes, we first start with oil/ghee in a pan, then put some cumin or mustard seeds and then we put in coriander powder, turmeric and other spices and herbs.
This spice is an important ingredient in Indian spice mixtures like garam masala, subzi masala, sambhar powder, rasam powder, etc.
• Internationally, coriander seed is best known as an ingredient in baked goods, but also goes well with a large variety of foods such as potatoes, cheese and even chutneys.
• Add coriander seeds to soups and broths.
• To make a healthy spinach preparation, sauté it with fresh garlic and coriander seeds, mix in garbanzo beans, and season with ginger and cumin.
• Add coriander powder to carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, potato and most other vegetables for a musky, earthy and fresh flavour.
• You can aromatize rice with coriander seeds by adding 1 tsp ground coriander to the cooking water or strive for a crisp flavour by mixing 2-3 tbsp of coriander seeds.
How to Store
• Coriander seeds should be kept in an opaque, tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place.
• The whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.
• Coriander busts intestinal gas and stimulates the appetite.
• Coriander seed can be used for making a medicinal tea to soothe an upset stomach, to treat indigestion, and mild gastrointestinal upsets.
• Sugar-coated coriander seeds are used as a breath freshener in India.
• Coriander is known to lower blood sugar by stimulating the secretion of insulin. As a matter of fact, it is called an "anti-diabetic" plant.
• It also helps the heart by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.
• Coriander's anti-inflammatory properties are used in treating arthritis. Here's a remedy you can use to get relief from the ailment. Boil ground coriander seeds with water and drink the concoction.
• Coriander can also be used to treat bacterial and fungal infections.
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