Cilantro, also known as coriander in some parts of the world, is one herb that has been in use for thousands of years as folk medicine and a culinary ingredient. Both its leaves and seeds are used in many cuisines like Indian, Mexican and Mediterranean. It’s great for seasoning and can be added to curries, soups, stir fries, salads and even cakes and lattes.
Cilantro or Coriander seeds are also an ingredient of garam masala. The seeds are commonly used in whole and powdered form and add a lovely distinct flavor to recipes. It is one of the most popular spices in Indian cooking and can be found without fail in almost all Indian kitchens.
The fresh leaves can be purchased in most herb and grocery stores. You can also plant it in your gardens. Look out for the leaves to be green and fresh when using. It’s a perfect garnish for curries, dips and sandwiches.
Cilantro is aromatic and is known for its antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to boost the immune system and also help detoxify the body. It provides essential vitamins and minerals. Traditionally it is also said to aid digestion.
Have you ever tried cilantro chutney? A dip made with a cup of cilantro leaves:
- ½ cup green onions, one thai green chilli
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger, ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt and sugar
All processed together. This is a great spread for your sandwiches and a lovely dip for appetizers.
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*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.