As a child I was not very fond of the taste of coriander seed or its leaves as my mother used them liberally in our preparations. I would generously keep aside the coriander (aka cilantro) leaves from dishes like Rasam. When I grew up I read that coriander leaves are healthy things and that it is good to use them in daily diet. The blessing is that it is usually available through out the year. Coriander serves both as a herb and a spice. It is a healing herb that is used effectively in different parts of the globe. While Indians use it for its anti-inflammatory properties, many European nations use this perennial herb for its anti-diabetic qualities. It is not unknown in Mexico and in the Caribbean. Cilantro leaves have taken place in the American kitchens along with herbs like Goldenseal and Echinacea. Latin American and Chinese dishes also make optimal use of the plant. In Iranian folk medicine, Coriander has been used for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. It is also gaining popularity for it cholesterol lowering effects. Thus it can be said that it is the most widely used herb of the world.
Are we fully aware of the health benefits of coriander?
Vitamin A,C,E (Alpha Tocopherol) and K
minerals like Calcium
How to buy and store
Look for fresh and crisp leaves without any pecks or spots. Store them in the refrigerator and consume within a week. According to some, they will stay longer with the roots removed, wrapped in paper towels and stored in zip locks. Coriander seeds can either be stored fresh or powdered. It is better if they can be kept in an opaque jar in a dark and dry place. People believe in grinding the seeds at home than buying the powder from the market. This preserves the quality and the aroma of the food stuff.
-Aparna K V