Coriander leaves are referred to as fresh coriander, Chinese parsley and cilantro. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods such as chutneys and salads, in Chinese dishes, in Mexican cooking, particularly in salsa and guacamole and as a garnish, Chopped coriander leaves are a garnish on several Indian dishes. As heat diminishes their flavour, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to a dish immediately before serving.
The leaves are a wonderful source of dietary fibre, manganese, iron and magnesium as well. In addition, they are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamine, niacin and carotene.
Coriander is traditionally used in the treatment of swellings, diarrhoea, high cholesterol levels, digestion, mouth ulcers, anaemia, menstrual disorders, eye care, blood sugar disorders and skin disorders. The anti-bacterial compounds in coriander help fight against Salmonella and protect against food-borne diseases.
Citronelol in coriander is an excellent antiseptic. In addition, other components have anti- microbial and healing effects which do not let wounds and ulcers in the mouth get worse. Cineole (essential oil) and linoleic acid, present in coriander, possess anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties, beneficial for swelling caused due to malfunctioning of kidney or anaemia.
Now, for a recipe.
Coriander leaves: 1 small bunch
Grated coconut: half cup
Salt to taste
Broken cashew nuts
Method: Blanch the coriander leaves for a few minutes and then refresh them in ice cold water. Blend the leaves with freshly grated coconut to a fine paste. Temper urad dal, mustard seeds, curry leaves and broken cashew nuts in coconut oil and keep aside. Adjust the seasoning of coriander chutney and garnish it with tempering.
The writer is the Executive Chef at Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove