Coriander (also known as dhania, Chinese parsley or cilantro) is a tiny but powerful herb packed with goodness. It is a subtly- flavoured herb with hints of earthy, lemony taste. Apart from its tantalizing flavour, it contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. It is also a good source of vitamins B, C, E, A and K. Coriander is popular in  South American, Middle Eastern, Indian and Thai cuisine.

It is quite the versatile herb- it can be used in a wide variety of recipes. Some of these include: garnishing meat and vegetable dishes, a key ingredient in guacamole, adding flavour to homemade pastries such as waffles and bread, an accompaniment to mushrooms, an ingredient in some cakes, adding flavour to soups, used in curries and gravy, and so much more.

Away from the kitchen, coriander still has a host of uses. Infuse a few leaves in hot water and use this tea to relieve headaches when suffering from a cold/ flu. It helps in mitigating halitosis by freshening breath. It is used to treat unirary tract infections. It soothes the gut, improves digestion and alleviates loss of appetite.

To keep freshly bought coriander in good condition, store it in a plastic bag. The leaves usually remain fresh for 3 days. Coriander is also available in powder form and seeds. If you buy the latter, toast them lightly before grinding to bring out the oil flavours and aromas. For maximum flavour, add it to dishes just before serving.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that coriander is one of the world’s most commonly used herbs.


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