From curries to cocktails, this is one mighty all-rounder of a herb/spice. If you don’t already love it, let us persuade you with some interesting tidbits and a selection of aromatic eats.
While the seeds are mellow and earthy with a hint of lemon, the leaves have a pungent, citrusy flavour that’s either heaven in a mouthful or like eating soap (blame those pesky aldehydes. It’s quite the Marmite of herbs but if you’re yet to be convinced, read on.
Massively popular in Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian dishes, fresh coriander is also known as cilantro. It boasts iron, vitamins C and K and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to be good for the skin, brain, heart and gut.
Buy it and try it
The leafy stuff comes in pots, bags or bunches and should be kept in the fridge or, if living, popped on a windowsill and watered regularly. You’ll find whole coriander seed or the powdered variety in the spice aisle ready to add to your stash.
The leaves of the fresh plant can be chopped or used whole in cooking, salads or as a pretty garnish. Finely slice up the stalks and use in cooking, they add great flavour. Dry frying coriander seed (either whole, ground or powdered) really brings out the aroma.
Kick things off
Get your dish off to a great start with some coriander action. Blitz up this chermoula marinade for fish, muddle together a coriander and chilli marinade for chicken or mix up a delicious dry rub for pork ribs.
Fancy a little on the side? Check out this vibrant coriander mayo (full disclosure – you’ll be making the mayo from scratch) and this cheeky coriander and mint chutney, which goes with all sorts of food.
Get down to business
Coriander’s fresh flavours lend themselves to a full range of fish, meat and veggie dishes. Using stalks, leaves and seeds, this coriander fish recipe is a celebration of its unique taste, as is this mighty coriander chicken curry.
Do coriander on your own terms with these sweet potato and black bean tacos. With the herby salsa on the side, you can limit or load up on that citrusy, punchy flavour.
This recipe is a bit more involved but it’s one for when you want to confuse everyone at the table by announcing that dinner is duckstrami with smacked cucumber. They’ll think you’re making it up until you serve this coriander-infused, turn-up-for-the-books dinner.
Coriander ever after
The perfect post-curry pud, this blindingly bright mango, ginger and coriander cheesecake is the perfect mix of sweet, fruit and spice notes. Another great palate cooler, this strawberry, cherry and coriander ice cream is one heck of a tasty vegan treat.
To finish we’re adding this hard-working herb to a cocktail. We give you a coriander plum old fashioned or, minus the strong stuff, a pineapple and lime mocktail (summer throwback in a glass). Cheers to that!