Erika Wassall, The Jersey Farm Scribe here, bringing you information on what coriander seeds are and how to use coriander seeds as a spice in your cooking.
Coriander Seed – the spice you didn’t know you were missing!
Let’s talk about Coriander seeds, an intriguing, versatile spice that adds a depth of flavor to everything from chill to your favorite cookies.
So what exactly IS coriander? Little known fact is, it’s actually the seed from the much more commonly known herb, cilantro. Each year, herb farms plant cilantro specifically for harvesting coriander seeds.
“If they coriander seeds come from the cilantro plant, they’re bound to have similar tastes, right?”
Surprisingly, no. Coriander is a much richer, sweet spice with a lemony top note and should never be substituted for the ripened leafy part of the plant.
Coriander is native in southern Europe and North America to southwestern Asian. Today the majority of the coriander that we buy in stories comes from Morocco, Romania, and Egypt, with some from China and India.
Coriander Health Benefits
Known for their micronutrients and antibacterial properties, coriander has been used for medicinal purposes for years. Purported coriander health benefits range from lowering cholesterol and cleansing the body, to lowering blood sugar and aiding in digestion. The complex health benefits to this spice have been used in many nutrition regimens around the world for years.
STYLES OF CORIANDER SPICE AND STORAGE
While you can purchase already ground coriander, the slight convenience does not compare to the loss of the added fragrance and potency of purchasing and using whole coriander seeds.
How To Use Coriander Seed
Coriander seeds are easily ground with a mortal and pestle, keep longer, taste richer, cost less and offer more variation. For an extra fragrance, soak them in water first for five to ten minutes, drain, and then grind. Or for quick fresh ground coriander at your fingertips, place them in a pepper mill and grind with a few simple flicks of the wrist.
CORIANDER TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
One of the most amazing things about fresh raw spices is that they give you control. You have the power to highlight the various notes of the spice, and tweak the aroma, the flavor and the texture just by how you use them! Spices have many faces.
How Are Coriander Seeds Used In Cooking?
Left whole, perhaps tossed with spinach, chickpeas and garlic, it adds a light floral aroma with sweet citrusy notes, and a nice crunch.
Ground, the nutty aromas will take the main stage making it a wonderful addition to dips, soups or any rich deep sultry dish such as chicken or beef.
Raw, the flavor is mild and light, but holds its uniqueness.
Roasting deepens the flavor, but it also blends more into the background of the dish.
A nice jumping point can be to briefly dry roast the seeds. Toss them into a dry frying pan, stirring constantly for just a minute or two over medium-high heat. They’ll deepen in color a bit and as an added bonus, the aroma will fill the kitchen. Then you can chose to either grind them or use them whole.
WHAT DO I PUT CORIANDER IN?
Despite the fact that many home-cooks don’t stock the seed (yet!), it’s a very versatile spice that adds a depth of flavor to many recipes. It has a pleasantly earthy aspect, dressed up with notes of butter, thyme and lemon.
So what should I cook it with?
Seriously… everything. Chicken? Yup. Pork? Absolutely. Beef? Another winner. Fish, salads and even potatoes? Yes, yes, and yes.
It’s hard to name only a few common uses for coriander, because there are just so many. Add them to a ratatouille, chili, or a pasta sauce for a fresh, floral taste, include them in your next herb rub on chicken or pork. The nutty flavors pair excellent with creamy soups like broccoli or potato cheddar or even in a cookie or bread recipe. Roasted vegetables gain an extra layer of flavor from their earthy essence.
Not sure where to start? Try oven roasted potatoes with coriander and garlic salt. Toss diced potatoes in olive oil and garlic salt and roast them in the oven however you normally would. When do you add the coriander? Whenever you want.
This gives you a chance to experiment with the spice. You can grind them, use them in whole, let them roast along with the potatoes, add them when they’re done, or even toss them in somewhere in the middle.
My personal favorite? Throw toasted coriander seeds in a pepper mill with some celery salt and place on the table. This way, the versatile, balanced spice can easily be added to any meal!
Coriander seed is a spice that give your food dishes a whole new taste. Looking to try something new in the kitchen? Add some coriander! I’d love to hear what your favorite ways to use coriander seeds are!! Post here or look me up on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe, I love to hear from readers, answer questions, or just say hello!