Coriander, a detox secret weapon
Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum L. Family: Apiaceae
When it comes to coriander, you either love it or you hate it. The sprightly and deliciously aromatic herb is a go-to for anything from salsas and chutney to stews, curries and garnish for meats.
However, a number of people with a specific gene variation actually perceive the taste of coriander leaves to be soap-like because certain aldehydes in the herb are also used as odorant substances in detergents.
Coriander looks very much like flat leaf parsley and is common to the Mediterranean. It is also widely known as cilantro in the US, which is the Spanish word for coriander. After coriander blooms, seed heads form and are filled with tiny brown seeds.
Coriander seeds have a citrusy and nutty flavour profile when crushed due to the presence of the terpenes, linalool and pinene. The seeds are usually roasted in a dry pan to enhance their flavor, aroma and pungency. It is recommended to blend the seeds fresh because ground coriander loses its potency in storage. Because coriander wilts fairly quickly, even when potted with proper sunlight, you can freeze chopped coriander in ice cubes. Just defrost the cubes before cooking and throw in at the end.
Coriander helps to rid the body of heavy metals, protects against oxidative stress and aids in lowering bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. Grab some coriander for your next chicken curry dish and take the health and flavour profile up a few notches.
How to make garam masala
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp cardamom pods
- 3 cassia cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
Toast the ingredients on medium to high heat for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Pour into a spice grinder and blend into a powder.
Store the spice mix in a dark container away from sunlight.
Coriander in pastrami
Did you know that coriander seeds are one of the most common ingredients used for pastrami brining and spice rubs?
Try out this brining mix if you decide to make pastrami at home
- Curing salt
- Black pepper
- Bay leaves
- Juniper berries