Coriander is a flowering plant that belongs to the parsley family (leaves of coriander and parsley have comparative shape and size). It is especially originated from South Europe, North Africa and West Asia.
Coriander seeds are plump and brown in colour, have a hollow cavity which bears essential oils that lend to the flavour of the dishes when used in cooking. Harvested when the plant turns brown and its leaves start to dry and fall. Immature seeds are light green in colour and taste quite bitter. Apart from being a popular spice in the kitchen, coriander seeds are also known for their medicinal properties.
In Ayurveda, often recommended for stomach related ailments, and also to ease digestion. Indeed a super seed and its regular use can bring about various health benefits.
Coriander seeds can be ready for harvest when the plant turn brown, and its leaves begin to dry and fall. Immature seeds are light green and taste bitter. To harvest; cut the crop, tie in small bundles, and sun-dry for several days. Traditionally, to separate the seeds, either the sheaves beaten with a stick or a lightweight roller employed to wear off the pods.
Selection and storage
Upakar Coriander seeds are uses as a spice. Upakar coriander seeds releases pleasant, slightly peppery flavor when squeezed between index and thumb fingers.
At home, store seeds in cool, dry, dark place, in airtight containers. This way, they keep well for many months and milled using a hand mill whenever required. Ground or powdered coriander must store in airtight containers and placed in the refrigerator. Use this spice powder as early as possible since it loses its flavor rather quickly due to evaporation of essential oils.
Dried Upakar coriander seeds are one of the common spice ingredients used worldwide. In general, completely dried seeds gently roasted under low flame just before milling to get a fine powder. Roasting brings out specific aromatic compounds and essential oils in the seeds.
Here are some serving methods:
- Coriander seeds used as flavoring agent in confectionery, stews, sausages, sweetbreads, and cakes.
- Coriander leaves, as well as seeds also used as an aromatic spice in Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Middle-eastern and European cooking.
- Russian dark rye bread, “Borodinsky bread”uses coriander seeds.
- In Nepal, ground powder of coriander seeds is a common household spice powder that is used in pickling, chutneys, stews, curries, marinades as well as in sausages.