Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
Coriander seeds has a nice warm, lemon and citrus flavour with a fragrant aroma when ground or simply crushed. This spice is the dried seeds from the coriander plant. Coriander is used in cooking either whole, crushed or powdered.
These seeds are used in many ways - from simply cooking with it to using it in marinades. It is also used in some spice rubs and seasoning blends. The flavours of coriander seeds go well with meats, fish and vegetables. It is also fantastic in soups and stir fries.
Lowers cholesterol- These seeds are effective in lowering cholesterol in the body. This spice contains a compound called coriandrin, according to studies it can control lipid digestion cholesterol levels. Coriander is packed with essential minerals and vitamins, which promotes the amount of red blood cells improving heart health.
Lowers blood sugar- Because coriander seeds are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. The anti diabetic properties and the lowering of blood sugar and cholesterol levels aids in controlling diabetes.
Vitamins- A, C, Folates, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin.
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Zinc, Potassium, Sodium.
You can buy this spice in various forms. Whole seeds or powdered seeds can be found online. They often come in a bottle/jar that fits into the spice rack in your kitchen. This spice does lose flavour over time, so it is best to keep it away from direct sunlight. It keeps better as whole seeds. It is easily crushed or powdered using a pestle and mortar, or a spice grinder.
Coriander seeds are great to use with marinades. They are often used as whole seeds when added to the marinade mixture. When it is ground the citrusy flavoured powdered coriander is great to add to stews, curries and chilli. It enhances the flavour. It is also a good spice to mix with other herbs and spices to create tasty rubs for meats.
This spice is also delicious when added to certain desserts. It can add a real boost in flavour to an apple pie. It is also used in the making of some pastries as well.
We use this spice in a lot of various dishes as I really enjoy its citrus spicy flavour. But a really simple and delicious recipe to cook it with is a carrot and coriander soup.
Serves 4-6 people
1 kg peeled and chopped carrots
1 large onion diced
4 large cloves of garlic
2 litres water
2 chicken stock cubes
1 tablespoon powdered or ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
Small bunch fresh coriander
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Get a large pan on a medium to high heat and add the olive oil. Once hot add the onions and cook until soft, then add the garlic giving a good stir as it cooks. Now add the carrots and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add the water and bring to the boil and then simmer. Add the stock cubes and stir until they are dissolved. Now season with the salt and pepper to taste, then add the ground coriander seed and the nutmeg. Give it a stir and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Check the carrots are soft then either blend with a stick blender or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Spoon the soup to your bowls and garnish with the fresh coriander and serve.