ONE OF THE OLDEST HERBS USED BY MANKIND?
It seems as though Coriander, especially the seed as a spice, has been highly valued in ancient civilizations.
Apparently, through archeological discovery, there is evidence of its cultivation and use by humans dating back to about 6000 years ago in populated areas stretching from Egypt to Turkey, Central Asia and Persia.
The unique and distinct flavour of Coriander found its way around the world and became part of the food culture of many nations.
It has become a flavour that is enjoyed around the world and one of the most popular herbs grown by gardeners today.
Grow some fresh coriander in your garden and be connected to a millennia old cultural heritage.
“What’s in a name?
That which we call Coriander
By any other name would taste as unique.”
~ adapted from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.
When you encounter a herb so popular and with a worldwide cultural identity, there is no doubt it will be called by many different names.
Coriander is also known and refer to as Cilantro, Dhaniya and Chinese Parsley.
"Coriander" is mainly used when referring to the seeds when used as a spice. The other names, especially "Cilantro", refers to the fresh, green leaves of the plant. "Cilantro" is the Spanish name for the herb.
So, whatever you like to call it is your choice, but make sure you don’t miss out on using this favoured culinary herb.
Coriander grows the best during the cooler seasons, from early autumn to early summer (May to December in South Africa).
When it gets too hot, Coriander bolts (form flowers) very quickly and then the leaves tend to be a bit more on the bitter side.
But those of us who absolutely love the taste of fresh Coriander don’t have to despair!
In summer, rather plant more successive plantings (a few new plants every 2 weeks) than too many plants at one time. This will ensure that you have a constant supply of fresh Coriander leaves during the shorter growth period. Always pinch out any sign of flower stalk development to encourage better leave growth.
Plant it in a position where it gets a minimum of 4 hours direct sunlight. Morning sun is the best position as Coriander does not enjoy the late afternoon, hot, direct sun exposure.
Place at least a 2cm thick layer of organic mulch around the plants to create the optimum growth environment for the roots. The happier the roots, the healthier your Coriander leaves!
Feed with an organic fertilizer to ensure enough nutrients availability for this fast growing herb.
What is a proper curry dish without the addition of some fresh Coriander leaves?
Growing your own fresh Coriander leaves is the best way to ensure you get the refreshing, tart and citrusy flavour so closely associated with it.
Freshly chopped leaves have the best flavour and should be added and stirred in at the end of the cooking process. Sprinkle fresh Coriander on the dish, just before serving and turn ordinary into scrumptious !
Not surprising, seeing that Coriander is such a popular herb worldwide, the use of Coriander is only limited by your imagination … and taste buds.
The best way to discover coriander and food pairing is to add some the next time you make your favourite dish and decide for yourself if it is complimentary or not.
Quick growing, bright green plant with feathery leaves and clusters of pinkish flowers in summer. The leaves have a sage flavor with citrus overtones. The roots have a nutty flavor. Can be eaten fresh or used in cooking and the roots can be grated into sauces. Annual. H:50cm W:30cm. 12cm, 17cm.
In the garden:
• Annual, Frost hardy.
•±50 cm; Spread: ±30 cm.
• Full sun: Well drained, composted soil.
• Pick fresh leaves throughout the year,
• Always remove the flower heads to encourage leaf growth,
• Seed: Allow the plant to flower. When it turns brown, pull the plant out and hang it upside down, covered with a brown paper bag. The seed will fall into the bag.
• Roots: Collect when lifting the plant.
• Vegetables: Plant with Potato,
• Herbs: Plant with Anise,
• Do not plant with: Fennel.
Use Coriander leaves and seed with:
• Vegetables, Beans, Salads,
• Beef, Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Pork, Shellfish,
• Pickle, Salad dressing, Salsa, Soups, Sauces, Tomato chutney, Ratatouille, Franfurters, Curries, Apple pies, Cakes, Biscuits, Marmalade,
• Asian dishes, Indian dishes, Mexican dishes, Thai dishes,
• The roots can also be used, it has a lovely nutty flavour,
• Curried Vegetables with Rice and Feta
• Roasted Butternut
Coriander may be beneficial in the following cases:
• Used to flavour various medicines.
• Mild sedative.
• Digestive tonic, Stimulant, Carminative,
Preparation and dosage:
• 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of seed in a cup of boiling water, steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink before meals or as necessary.
• Use fresh leaves with food.