C Is For Coriander
You won’t see coriander used very much in most American cuisine, but it is a staple in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Coriander has quite a history with mankind, the herb was discovered in the pharaoh tombs in Egypt and it is also referenced in the Bible as one of the bitter herbs eaten during Passover. I have only had the opportunity to use ground coriander seeds in my culinary creations, but the entire plant can be used.
The seeds of the coriander plant are probably used the most in cooking, which can readily be found your local spice isle, but different cultures tend to use this plant in different ways. The stalks and pungent leaves of this herb are frequently used in salads, soups and other dishes in many parts of the world, such as The Middle East, Southern Asia and Mexico. In Thailand, the root of this herb is used frequently in curry dishes; it is said that the root has a more intense flavor than the leaves. Thanks to all of my kitchen adventures with my close friend Chris, ground coriander seeds became my first love in the kitchen.
There is just something about this exotic spice that excites my palate and warms my heart. My favorite characteristic of ground coriander seeds is that you can never use too much of it. The flavor is very much a side show to any dish; it is always delicate and never overpowering. Coriander’s subtly sweet and savory flavor seems dance across your taste buds in the background as you are occupied with the more predominate flavors of the dish. As described by my good friend, “Coriander is a light, lemony spice that brings a refreshing note to any dish”, and I can’t agree with him more! We have used it on almost everything, especially his famous chicken noodle soup. I was hoping on sharing my own version of the recipe with you by now, but that will have to wait for another blog post.
If you haven’t had a chance to try this subtle spice, I would very much recommend picking it up at the grocery store and giving it a whirl. Ground coriander seeds are a great addition to many soups, stews and many other dishes. I’m almost certain that you will love it, so just do yourself a flavor and start using it in your cooking! If you were to use the seeds whole, I would recommend roasting the seeds a bit in an ungreased pan to enhance their flavor.
Till next time,