Sleeper Spices: Coriander

organic coriander seed

By Tom Havran

Wake up your palate and expand your cooking repertoire with spices you may not have experienced before. In this first installment of our series highlighting “sleeper” spices, learn about the unique seasoning capabilities of coriander and get tips for awakening it in your next cooking endeavor.

What it tastes like: Coriander seeds are the fruit of the same plant that gives us cilantro leaves. If you are one of the rare individuals who has a natural aversion to the flavor of cilantro, you may want to try coriander in its place because it lacks the soapy aldehyde flavor of the cilantro herb. Instead, it contains the flavor constituents of limonene and linalool — which also happen to be the primary constituents in the spicy rind of the bergamot orange. Coriander adds an aromatic, fruit-like and mildly spicy lift to foods.

What it looks like: Coriander seeds resemble peppercorns in size and shape, but are tan in color.

How to use it: The use of coriander is often associated with southeast Asian, Indian and Mexican cooking. Whole coriander seeds are ground into dry curry powder blends or used to season fresh salsas, marinades, guacamole and moles.

Here are a few tips about how to use the seeds:

  • Add them to brining liquids or pickling jars.
  • Store them whole and grind them into a dish as needed for a fresh, vibrant flavor.
  • Fry the whole seeds in hot oil along with garlic, ginger and hot red chilies. Then mash to create a tantalizing red curry paste.
  • Toast the whole seeds along with salt and cumin seeds in a dry pan. Then grind to create a secret seasoning powder for your fresh salsa and guacamole.

Use powdered coriander seed for controlled measurements and convenience.

What are your best recipes using coriander? Share in the comments below!

Tom-HavranAbout the author: Tom is communicator of natural living for Frontier, Simply Organic and Aura Cacia brands. In other words, he’s a very imaginative copywriter. A local boy, raised on a farm just down the road from the company’s headquarters in Norway, Tom enjoys drawing, plant hoarding, cooking and living the simple life in the beautiful state of Iowa.

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