February 24, 2022
Anupy's Spice Corner: In this post, I want to introduce you to the power of using whole coriander seeds in your cooking. You likely already use coriander powder, which is made from grinding these whole seeds. While the powder is used quite a bit in Indian cooking, the seeds also have a special place and can truly take your dish from delicious to amazing.
First, let's get the terminology straight. The pale yellow grassy seeds are coriander seeds. Grind them to make coriander powder. Plant them and grow an herb that you're likely very familiar with, cilantro. The herb is delicious and used in all sorts of cuisines, but on its own it has very limited nutritional value. The nutrition is truly locked into the seeds, which are traditionally used to relieve gas and deal with other digestive issues. In Hindi, we call the seeds and herb by the same name - dhania.
On taste - coriander has a lemony profile. That's the most accurate way to describe these delicious seeds. When biting into them, you get a mouthful of citrus without ever slicing a lemon. This seed is valuable in dishes where you want that light, airy, and lemony taste profile without adding lemon juice and extra moisture. A little goes a long way. Even just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon can make all the difference in a dish.
My favorite way to use coriander seeds is in a curry like in my coconut curry. You'll see how I use just a touch of whole coriander seeds for that extra taste and depth of flavor.
Use the seeds as is or dry roast them until they turn golden brown. This should take only about 2 to 3 minutes. Once roasted and then ground, this powder is a perfect addition to a pumpkin dish or sweet potatoes as I discovered working with chefs while traveling in the state of Kerala in India.
Not up for Indian? No problem. Coriander seeds are perfect in this recipe for potato salad - just replace the 2 teaspoons of coriander powder with 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds. Use coriander seeds in egg salad, mock egg salad, or in deviled eggs. Even try them in a shrimp scampi - sauteed in butter ahead of adding the shrimp. Or in hummus. In the recipe posted here, I saute the seeds in olive oil with fenugreek leaves for a gorgeous and unique topping on hummus.
Use the seeds to ease digestive issues including helping with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. One terrific way to use the seeds to help the gut is to boil about 1 tablespoon of the seeds in 1 1/2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink as a tea. Try a cup in the morning before eating and see how you feel after two weeks. I've done this myself and felt better.
Now maybe the most important question - where to buy the seeds? They are not the easiest to find, I agree. But, any Indian grocery store or well-stocked mainstream grocer will carry coriander seeds. We don't sell the seeds yet - just the powder, but purchase anything from our website on Indian As Apple Pie and from now to March 31st I will include a sample of these beautiful seeds to play around with in your own kitchen. Maybe soon if we get some great feedback we'll sell them as well. For now, I'm excited for you to try them out and see what you think.
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November 28, 2023