Coriandrum Sativum belongs to the family Apiaceae is an annually grown herb found mostly in Mediterranean countries. The herb loves to grow in places where the temperature is hot enough. The seeds of Coriandrum Sativum are called seeds of coriander and their leaves are mostly referred to as Cilantro.
Coriandrum Sativum has a very strong aroma that can be felt from meters away from the growing spot. Coriandrum Sativum has slender stems with leaves on it. The leaves are different as you towards the top. At the base they are larger and at the top tips of branches they are a bit feathery in shape. The flowers on the branches are clustered and are slightly purple in color. The roots are also important in terms of their aroma and culinary use. The stem can have length up to 3 feet tall.
Constitutional facts about Coriandrum Sativum
Coriandrum Sativum has a high grade list of nutritional constituents and health benefits. The herb consists of Iron, Magnesium, Vitamins A, B, and C. There are certain essential oils present in the seeds of the Coriandrum Sativum. These include Lenoleic acid, Ascorbic acid, Palmitic acid, Oleic acid, Stearic acid. The herb is a rich source of dietary fiber and mineral and anti bacterial chemicals that alph-pinene, Beta –Phelendrene, Cineole and Borneol.
Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as cilantro, particularly in the America. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are commonly used in cooking. The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. Some perceive an unpleasant “soapy” taste or a rank smell and avoid the leaves.
Coriander leaves should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Put the washed leaves on a chopping board and chop them in small 1-2 inch sized pieces.
How to select
Look for coriander leaves that have firm, unwilted leaves, are vividly deep green in color with no signs of yellowing or browning. Leaves that are smaller in size will be more tender and have a milder flavour.
· The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods (particularly chutneys), in Chinese dishes and in Mexican salsas and guacamole.
· In Mexico and the South western U.S. it is used in everything from salsas and salads to burritos or meat dishes
· Chopped coriander leaves are a garnish on cooked dishes such as dal and curries. As heat diminishes their flavor quickly, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish right before serving.
· In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts in gravies and as green curry paste.
· Coriander’s leaves is used as seasoning in curries, salads and soup and its dried ripe spherical seeds mostly in powder form is slightly roasted and used as curry powder in dishes, to flavour cakes, cookies, alcoholic beverages such as gin etc
How to store
Coriander (cilantro) can normally be found fresh in your local grocery store and is available year-round. The leaves spoil quickly when removed from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried or frozen .Before you store coriander it should be rinsed and left moist (not wet) and place in a plastic bag. The coriander may be stored for up to 1 week. The most easy and convenient way of storing coriander leaves is pluck the leaves and tender stems and store them in an airtight container. As and when you need, clean them in water and use them.
· Coriander is considered an aid to the digestive system. It is an appetite stimulant and aids in the secretion of gastric juices.
· A poultice of Coriander seed can be applied externally to relieve painful joints and rheumatism.
The essential oils of the coriander leaves contain antibacterial properties and can be used as a fungicide. Coriander seeds are considered to have cholesterol-lowering properties.
· Coriander has pain-relieving properties and is useful for headaches, muscle pain, stiffness and arthritis. Coriander is useful as a tea, because of its helpful effects on the digestive tract, and is good for increasing appetite, and relieving nausea, diarrhea, flatulence and indigestion. It is reputed to enhance circulation and relieve fluid retention.