The leaves and seeds of the coriander plant are one of the most essential in Thai cooking. The root is also used, often pounded with garlic and other ingredients, to make a marinade. It is widely used as topping of many thai recipes such as Fried Fish with Tamarind Sauce [ปลาราดพริก], Thai Steamed Curried Fish [ห่อหมกปลา], etc.
All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most commonly used in cooking. Coriander is common in South Asian, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Tex-Mex, Latin American, Portuguese, Chinese, frican, and Scandinavian cuisine.
The leaves are variously referred to as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, Chinese parsley, or cilantro (in America, from the Spanish name for the plant). It should not be confused with culantro (Eryngium foetidum L.) which is a close relative to coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) but has a distinctly different appearance, a much more potent volatile leaf oil and a stronger smell. The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. Many experience an unpleasant “soapy” taste or a rank smell and avoid the leaves. The flavours have also been compared to those of the stink bug, and similar chemical groups are involved (aldehydes). There appears to be a genetic component to the detection of “soapy” versus “herby” tastes. 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, and in salads in Russia and other CIS countries. Chopped coriander leaves are a garnish on Indian dishes such as dal. As heat diminishes their flavour, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavour diminishes. The leaves spoil quickly when removed from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried or frozen.
The dry fruits are known as coriander or coriandi seeds. In India they are called dhania. The word “coriander” in food preparation may refer solely to these seeds (as a spice), rather than to the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed, due to terpenes linalool and pinene. It is described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured.
The dry fruits are known as coriander or coriandi seeds. In India they are called dhania. The word “coriander” in food preparation may refer solely to these seeds (as a spice), rather than to the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed, due to terpenes linalool and pinene. It is described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured. The variety C. s. vulgare or macrocarpum has a fruit diameter of 3–5 mm, while var. microcarpum fruits have a diameter of 1.5–3 mm. Large-fruited types are grown mainly by tropical and subtropical countries, e.g. Morocco, India and Australia, and contain a low volatile oil content (0.1-0.4%). They are used extensively for grinding and blending purposes in the spice trade. Types with smaller fruit are produced in temperate regions and usually have a volatile oil content of around 0.4-1.8%, and are therefore highly valued as a raw material for the preparation of essential oil. It is commonly found both as whole dried seeds and in ground form. Seeds can be roasted or heated on a dry pan briefly before grinding to enhance and alter the aroma. Ground coriander seed loses flavour quickly in storage and is best ground fresh. Coriander seed is a spice in garam masala and Indian curries, which often employ the ground fruits in generous amounts together with cumin. It acts as a thickener. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal, are eaten as a snack. It is the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes: sambhar and rasam. Coriander seeds are boiled with water and drunk as indigenous medicine for colds. Outside of Asia, coriander seed is used for pickling vegetables, and making sausages in Germany and South Africa (see boerewors). In Russia and Central Europe, coriander seed is an occasional ingredient in rye bread as an alternative to caraway. Coriander seeds are used in European cuisine today, though they were more important in former centuries.
Coriander roots have a deeper, more intense flavour than the leaves. They are used in a variety of Asian cuisines. They are commonly used in Thai dishes, including soups and curry pastes.
Coriander grows wild over a wide area of the Near East and southern Europe, prompting the comment, “It is hard to define exactly where this plant is wild and where it only recently established itself.” Fifteen desiccated mericarps were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B level of the Nahal Hemel Cave in Israel, which may be the oldest archaeological find of coriander. About half a litre of coriander mericarps were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen, and because this plant does not grow wild in Egypt, Zohary and Hopf interpret this find as proof that coriander was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. The Bible mentions coriander in Exodus 16:31: “And the house of Israel began to call its name manna: and it was round like coriander seed, and its taste was like that of flat cakes made with honey.”
Coriander seems to have been cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BC. One of the Linear B tablets recovered from Pylos refers to the species as being cultivated for the manufacture of perfumes, and it appears that it was used in two forms: as a spice for its seeds and as a herb for the flavour of its leaves. This appears to be confirmed by archaeological evidence from the same period: the large quantities of the species retrieved from an Early Bronze Age layer at Sitagroi in Macedonia could point to cultivation of the species at that time. Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670, and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers.
Thank you : wikipedia.org