Recipe Learn how to make a delicious marinade using fresh coriander
Coriander is considered both a herb and a spice, since both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning condiment.
The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds, which, when dried, are used as a dried spice. When ripe, the seeds turn yellowish-brown and have longitudinal ridges. They have a fragrant flavour reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage. Coriander seeds are available whole or as powder.
The use of coriander can be traced back to 5,000 BC, making it one of the world's oldest spices. It is native to the Mediterranean region and West Asia.
Coriander leaves (cilantro) are featured in the culinary traditions of Latin American, Indian and Chinese cuisine.
Whenever possible, buy coriander seeds instead of coriander powder; the latter loses its flavour quickly. Coriander seeds can be easily ground using a mortar and pestle.
Coriander seeds and powder should be kept in an opaque, tightly-sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place.
Ground coriander will keep well for about four to six months, while the seeds will stay fresh for about a year.
Coriander seeds contain an unusual array of phytonutrients. They are a very good source of dietary fibre and a good source of iron, magnesium and manganese.
Now, for a recipe.
Cardamom and Coriander Chermoula
Garlic: 20 gm
Cardamom (ground): 10
Vegetable or virgin olive oil: 45 ml
Juice and zest of one lemon
Green chilli: To taste
Fresh coriander (chopped): one bunch
Salt and pepper: To taste
Mix garlic, cardamom, oil, 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice and green chilli in a mixer. Add coarsely-chopped coriander leaves and lemon zest. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Mix again till it reaches the consistency of a not-too-fine pesto. If necessary, add some more lemon juice or water.
If stored in a tightly-closed glass jar, it can be refrigerated for up to two days.
This goes well with fish or seafood, meats and vegetables. It tastes especially nice with lamb, chicken, fried fish and barbequed dishes.
Junior Sous Chef
Vivanta by Taj — Connemara, Chennai