Coriander is a unique spicy plant, rich with carotene, vitamins and salts of kalium. Coriander is one of the oldest and widely used spicy herblike plants. It is an essential ingredient of Asian, Indian, Chinese, Latin-American, African, and Middle-Eastern cuisine.
Coriander seeds enjoy the same popularity, it is one of the most widely spread spice, Eastern and Caucasian cuisines are just inconceivable without it.
Coriander is added to soups, sweet things, bake, and fish dishes. In Thai cuisine it is added to green curry and dishes that are cooked in the wok. It is well combined with a lot of spices, such as chilli. Mexicans combine it with thyme, oregano, sesame in their hot salsas.
By the way, coriander grows not only on the garden bed, but on the balcony. So this unpretentious plant can be grown even at home. The main thing is to water it often, because due to the lack of moisture leaves get stiff and unpalatable.
It should be taken into account that in the process of cooking coriander shouldn’t be exposed to a long thermal conditioning – in this case taste and aroma will vanish. Chop coriander only with a sharp knife, otherwise useful properties will remain on the chopping board. There is no need to dry coriander – in this case useful properties are lost too.
Avicenna paid attention to curative properties of coriander seeds and leaves. In his records he recommended to use coriander infusion at dizziness, fever, various inflammations, nasal haemorrhage, heartburn, and insomnia.
Such multifaceted coriander was considered very useful and was used in cookery and medicine thousands years ago. In the Middle Ages coriander was added to love potions; the Chinese used it to prolong life; and in South-East Asia it was simply considered as aphrodisiac.
In food industry coriander leaves are used as herbs and seeds as spices. Coriander is suited perfectly for aromatization of confectionery products and bread, canned meat and fish, pickled products. Fresh coriander is a wonderful spice for vegetables, meat and rice dishes. Cooking any dish, coriander should be added generously – not with a teaspoon but with a tablespoon and obligatory at the end of cooking.
Useful properties of coriander
Apart from gastronomic and aromatic values of coriander, its seeds are characterised by unique and useful properties. Essential oils, pectin, starch, proteins, fructose, glucose, saccharose, and tanning substances enter into their composition.
Coriander has wonderful healing properties. Coriander seeds are rich with fats, proteins, carbohydrates. Coriander leaves contain carotene, vitamins C, B1, B2, P and mineral salts. Coriander is a choleretic, helps spitting and improves digestion.