Coriander (dhana)

It is a member of a parsley family.The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander,Chinese parsley, or cilantro. The dry fruits are known as coriander seeds. In India they are called khada dhania. The seeds are oval in shape, ridged, and turn from bright green to beige when ripen.This spice tastes sweet and tangy, with a slightly citrus flavor. Coriander is usually sold in powdered form, although the whole seeds are also available. Fresh green coriander, because they aid digestion, they are particularly effective with carbohydrates like pastries and bread. Coriander is also used in fish and savory dishes as a healthy alternative to salt, and it is basic ingredient of curry powder

Corriander – Names in different Indian Languages.

Hindi–   Dhania, Bengal –   Dhone,, Gujrati - Dhana, Punjabi –  Dhania

Tamil -   KothamalLiverai,  Urdu –    Dhanya

Nutritional information

Coriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice.

Culinary Uses

In Indian recipes the most common use of coriander seed is in curry powders along with Cumin. Seeds are usually roasted or heated on a dry pan briefly before grinding to enhance and alter the aroma. It acts as a thickener. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal are eaten as a snack. It is the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes: sambhar and rasam. Coriander is a characteristic of  Non vegetarian cooking in South East Asia, being common with lamb, kid and meat stuffing.

Cilantro is usually added toward the end of cooking to preserve the fresh aroma. Also it is frequently used as a garnish. It is sometimes  used  as a paste  along with Garlic and  green chillies for  recipies like stuffed potatoes or Fish.  The commonest use being ‘ the Chutney” , which is made out of Green Corriander leaves, Garlic, Green Chillies and Lime Jiuce.

Storage

Coriander seed is generally used coarsely ground or more finely powdered, depending on the texture desired. It is best bought whole as, being brittle, it is easy to mill or pound in a mortar. Ground coriander is apt to lose its flavour and aroma quickly and should be stored in an opaque airtight container.Their flavour may be enhanced by a light roasting before use. As coriander is mild, it is a spice to be used by the handful, rather than the pinch. The leaves can be chopped or minced before use. They lose flavour when dried, but may be frozen either blanched or chopped and frozen into ice cubes.

Precaution

Coriander is the main curry powder in most of the Indian recipes however its flavor depend greatly on the right mixture of other spices which is usually mixed with it like Ginger, Garlic, Cumin , black Paper and tomatoes.

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