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C is for Coriander #BlogchatterA2Z

My first encounter with coriander leaves happened when I saw them floating in my dal as a toddler. Although the green colour looked beautiful against the yellow, I spat it out the moment I consumed it. Removing stuff from food was never an option in our home though. The next time my dal had finely chopped pieces of them which were just too cumbersome to remove. This is how, somehow, coriander entered my life and, as I now realise, is here to stay.

Coriander, dhaniya or cilantro though normally associated with garnishing and adding that dash of colour to any dish has immense health benefits. It is a great source of dietary fibre, contains Vitamins C, K and A, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and also contains iron in high quantities. It is good for eyes and promotes the nervous system. Diabetes can be controlled by including coriander in regular diet too.

Indian cooking uses coriander extensively in some or the other form. Everyday cooking commonly uses ground coriander seeds as a spice. Coriander leaves are an integral part of most chutneys served with dosas, dhoklas, chaats, etc. We always had the simple green chutney (coriander+salt+cumin seeds+lemon juice) stored in our refrigerator since we loved having it in sandwiches.

My love affair with coriander started only post marriage (no, A is not wary ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) when the onus of purchasing grocery fell on me. Helpful neighbours who accompanied me to the market taught me the right way to select green leafy and other vegetables. Coriander leaves were trickiest to choose. The local ones have smaller leaves but have a wonderful smell while the hybrid ones look good but are bland. I also realised that buying it from local farmers is better than picking it up from malls.

One wouldnโ€™t believe the occasion sorting and storing these leaves can be. Mom loved it but I despise the effort at times. However, without them my cooking feels curtailed. There are different ways to store them too. One option is to wash them, let them dry and then store chopped coriander leaves in an airtight container wrapped in a soft cloth. Personally, I like to sort and directly store them and wash and chop them whenever I need to use.

Coriander stems have multiple uses too and it is wise not to discard them. I wash them and use them in soups or while making chutneys. I also chop them and mix them in the earth of my plant pots at home. They decompose slowly but do give nutrition to the plant.ย I try and include my kids in the planting, watering and giving natural fertilisers process and they enjoy it immensely.

Iโ€™ve been trying to grow coriander in my home garden but even after repeated attempts it had refused to sprout till now.ย Plants are no less stubborn than fussy babies, I tell you. I believe it is vengeance on its part for the dislike I finally did grow out of. I won’t give up though!

Do you like and use coriander in your cooking too? Do share your thoughts with me.

This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge for April 2019

40 thoughts on “C is for Coriander #BlogchatterA2Z

    1. Oh yes, parathas taste really good with coriander mixed in the atta. Have you had fried masala puris which have a good amount of coriander leaves and minimal spices in them, yet taste too good? If not, will tell you. Do try it!

  1. Love how you’ve highlighted about the importance of Coriander in Indian cooking. No food is complete without that garnish of Coriander! I hate ‘Kothmir todna’ though ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Trust me M, ‘Kothmir todna’ is so boring for me sometimes that I’ve taught A and the kids to do it too. ๐Ÿ˜› How else can I enjoy my food?

  2. I love the flavour coriander adds to my food! Fortunately it is flourishing in my rooftop garden at home. Perhaps youโ€™re right, itโ€™s growth may be dependent on my love for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I love corriander chutney the exact same recipe you shared with chats and on bread. On the other hand hubby doesnt so usage in foods is less. But I love the fragnance of fresh corriander. I liked your idea of usinf the stems will try it ?

    1. I hope you have enough of it even if he doesn’t, Manisha. You need the nutrition as a new mom. Do try the stems in soup, but I would suggest using tender ones else the soup may get somewhat bitter.

  4. Dhaniya, I often think how can someone not like coriander (like my husband doesn’t like it), for me its a must add in every curry and dry veg sabji. Dhaniya chutney is a taste enhancer too. Love the C Varsha.

  5. I have a habit of picking out all the coriander leaves from any dish I eat and keep them aside. My mother, father and wife never tire of telling me how nutritious coriander is. But I love coriander chutney. I just can’t have enough of it.

  6. I love coriander and this has come from my dad as he was a big fan if dhaniya patta. But on the other hand my kids and hubby are not fan of it. Good to read about your sweet memories.

  7. I like how you actually make the extra effort to use the stems in various ways. I have successfully grow coriander from the coriander seeds we purchase a couple of times. I got very short stemmed but full of flavour plants. My mil said we should rub it a bit, soak it in water and then sprinkle it in the mud. Give it another shot

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