Coriander, Coriandrum sativum, is an annual herb that grows to about 80cm high (32 inches). Coriander plants have dark-green, fan-shaped leaves that are a bit like the flat Italian parsley, hence its other common names of Chinese parsley or Japanese parsley. The stems of the coriander plants are slender and branched, and the leaves at the base are rounded and as you go up the plant they become more serrated. The flowers of the coriander plant are white or pinky-mauve in colour, small and umbrella shaped. After flowering, the coriander plant produces the seeds that become the spice. Coriander leaves – often called cilantro – have a fresh, herby and all-pervading lemony taste that is very distinctive and cleansing. Many people (perhaps 20%) do not like the strong almost fetid flavour of cilantro/coriander leaves.
The coriander seeds are small and almost spherical, are some 5mm in diameter and have 12 characteristic ribs that run lengthways down these spheres. Coriander seeds fall into 2 categories – the Asia Minor seeds are light-tan to pale-brown and have a lemony aroma and taste; the Indian seeds are smaller, often darker brown, and taste less of citrus and more sage-like and herby in flavour. Toasting them accentuates the citrus notes, plus adds a certain nuttiness to their character.
Coriander seeds are really useful and flexible spices that are very forgiving – you cannot really use too much coriander, while it blends well with other spices, seeming to draw together flavours into a more perfect whole – Ian Hemphill calls this characteristic “amalgamating”. Coriander works both in sweet and savoury recipes, from organic mixed spice through to organic harissa. Coriander seeds go well with pork, so rub some in or mix in with a dry rub or homemade marinade; vegetables like carrots and peas go well with coriander.
- Flavours: Balanced
- Cuisines: African, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern
- Ingredient features: Organic, Salt free, Sugar free, Vegan
- Values per 100g:
- Energy 350kCal; 1488kJ
- Fat 1.1g
- Carbohydrates 72.7g
- Protein 12.6g
- Values per 2g teaspoon:
- Energy 7kCal; 30kJ
- Fat 0.0g
- Carbohydrates 1.5g
- Protein 0.3g
We also stock Steenbergs Organic Coriander Powder, and Coriander Leaf