Whenever you buy fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) or coriander seeds, you may always get the problem of how to use coriander in cooking using new methods. Or, if you are fresh to the cuisine, you may think about how you could use this spice and herb.

Starting from being a part of a basic spice blend, a meat rub, and proceeding to a complexly flavored dish, coriander literally goes a long way in cooking. It is a ubiquitous herb and a spice (actually a two-in-one!) that could enhance the flavor, texture, and aroma of an entire dish.

This article is dedicated to addressing how to use coriander in cooking. We will be discussing how you can employ both coriander seeds and cilantro (coriander leaves) in different ways when you cook with them. So, if you ever had problems trying to cook with this flavorful spice and herb, this is the right place for you to have all your answers!

How To Use Coriander In Cooking?

A dish that is spiced on-point with the right amount of ingredients and seasonings has the capacity to make you disconnect from the real world for a couple of seconds. Coriander is a spice and herb equipped with this effect on the food they are called for.

How To Use Coriander In Cooking - SpiceRally

The seeds, leaves, stalks, and even roots of this plant are extensively used in Middle Eastern, Asian, North African, and European cuisines. The coriander roots generally feature in many Thai and Vietnamese dishes. 

This is indeed a very versatile flavoring. And, its capacity to overpower the overall taste of a particular dish is comparatively low due to its mild and pleasing flavor. Thus, you don’t have to consider twice about using the seeds and leaves of coriander to enhance the punch of your meal.

Using Coriander Seeds In Cooking

Coriander seeds are tiny, round, and brown or tan in color. They can be used in cooking as whole seeds or ground coriander. 

However, as suggested by the cooking experts, In order to intensify the flavor and aroma of coriander seeds, you should dry-roast them in a pan and then include them in the food you make. 

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You can buy whole coriander seeds and ground coriander from the store. And, both types are readily available in supermarkets, online shopping sites, and simply at your local grocer.

Coriander seeds can be used in a number of savory and sweet dishes. And they are an integral feature in many popular spice blends and seasonings like:

In addition to this, coriander seeds can be used in these methods:

  • As a dry spice meat rub.
  • In marinades.
  • As a herbal tea- In this, whole dry-roasted coriander seeds are boiled with ginger and water. And then, the coriander and ginger-infused water is served warm with a sweetener like sugar or honey. This is known to be a very healthy beverage that boosts immunity and eases the symptoms of the common cold and cough.
  • In sweet dishes like cakes, biscuits, and puddings.
  • Curries
  • Stir-fries
  • Broths
  • Meat stocks
  • Vegetable stocks
  • Rice dishes
  • Vegetable dishes

Other Spices And Cooking Ingredients That Coriander Seeds Pair Well

As we noted at the beginning of this article, coriander is a very versatile spice. The reason for saying this is mainly because of its ability to pair well with other ingredients used in a particular dish and not to overwhelm its flavor.

However, you know that spices don’t make good teams with all the other elements of their class. Thus, coriander seeds pair well with other spices like:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Garlic
  • Cumin 
  • Ginger
  • Fennel
  • Nutmeg 

Moreover, it combines well with other cooking ingredients like:

  • Apples
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Ham
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Plums
  • Pork
  • Potatoes

Using Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) In Cooking

The leaves of the coriander plant are commonly known in the USA as cilantro. And, in most other countries apart from the USA, call them coriander leaves. However, they show a close resemblance to parsley and Chinese celery so that most of us would get confused.

Cilantro (coriander leaves) is used either fresh or dried depending on the recipe they call for. It is an aromatic, crisp, and flavorsome herb that could give the perfect green touch and herbal taste.

The coriander leaves are small, so they often go into recipes, chopped. Thanks to its pretty formation, some also use them as a garnish in many soups and rice dishes. And, moreover, coriander leaves are a staple in Indian Biryani dishes that they never miss out on!

Consequently, cilantro become a part of dishes like:

  • Green smoothies
  • Detoxifying drinks
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Dips
  • Salad dressings
  • Oil infusions
  • Salsa
  • Stir-fries
  • Rice dishes
  • Green sauces
  • Chutneys

Other Herbs And Cooking Ingredients That Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) Pair Well

Just like coriander seeds, the flavor of cilantro is also delicate not to overpower the overall taste of the dish it is added to. Hence, it found partners to get along well together on its cooking journey. Coriander leaves make good partners with other herbs like:

  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint

And, other culinary ingredients that it pairs well with include:

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Avocado
  • Bell pepper
  • Coconut milk
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Figs
  • Root vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Lime

Something More About Coriander…

Coriander comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum. And, interestingly, the seeds of this plant are considered to be a spice. At the same time, the leaves and stalks are regarded as a herb. Therefore, is you basically get two culinary ingredients from one single plant!

Coriander seeds are available and used as whole seeds or in their ground from when cooking. Meanwhile, cilantro (coriander leaves) is used as fresh leaves and also as a dried herb. Both these types are widely available in the market.

We guess now you are excited enough to learn from A-Z about coriander. If so, click here for a broad-researched article that includes everything about this flavoring.

And as mentioned above, coriander seeds are available and used as whole seeds or in their ground from when cooking. Meanwhile, cilantro (coriander leaves) is used as fresh leaves and also as a dried herb. Both these types are widely available in the market.

However, there are multiple interesting methods that you can incorporate coriander in cooking. While coriander seeds and leaves both become a flavorful companion to food, they are also packed with nutrients and many health benefits. 

Are Coriander And Cilantro The Same Thing?

This is a very typical question that most would have when cooking with coriander. Actually, these two terms are used for the same plant. It is just a matter of the recognition of different parts of the same plant in diverse parts of the world.

I believe in the magic of preparation. You can make just about any foods taste wonderful by adding herbs and spices. Experiment with garlic, cilantro, basil and other fresh herbs on vegetables to make them taste great.

Jorge Cruise

As we stated in a section above, in the USA, the seeds of the Coriandrum sativum plant are called coriander seeds, and the leaves and stalks are known as cilantro. In the meantime, most countries apart from the USA refer to the seeds as coriander seeds and the rest of the plant, including leaves and stalks, as coriander.

Therefore, all confusions apart, coriander and cilantro both are the same plant. But, we don’t usually see coriander seeds are known as cilantro seeds most often.

Can I Use Coriander Seeds Instead Of Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) And Vice Versa?

Despite the fact that both these elements come from the same plant, we should say that they have very distinctive flavors. In fact, coriander seeds are a spice, and cilantro (coriander leaves is a herb.

Therefore, with regard to their different class, flavor, aroma, and texture, we don’t see that they could replace each other. Even if you do, there will be a huge emptiness of the flavor of coriander seeds and vice versa. Above all, the taste of the entire dish could change due to this substitution.

Substitutes For Coriander Seeds And Cilantro

Even though coriander seeds cannot replace coriander leaves (cilantro) and vice versa, there are a number of other ingredients that you can find in your kitchen that could be used to replace them. 

The actual fact is, you cannot expect these substitutions to give exact flavor and aroma as coriander seeds or leaves. But still, they could be good alternatives if you ever run out of coriander seeds or leaves in your pantry.

Coriander seed substitutes include:

Cilantro (coriander leaves) substitutes include:

  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Mixed herbs
  • Celery

We know you aren’t satisfied with this short explanation about coriander substitutes. That is why we prepared a complete article listing and explaining the nine best coriander substitutes. Click here and get what you need!

How To Store Coriander Seeds And Cilantro?

Storing spices and herbs properly is an essential factor when you engage in cooking. Knowing the right storing tips will help you keep your herbs and spices fresh, aromatic, and flavorful for longer. And, it will save your time and money at the same time.

Unlike cilantro (coriander leaves), coriander seeds won’t really go bad. They will only lose flavor and fragrance over time. But, storing them away in air-tight glass containers will help you to keep them well for a long period. 

However, only putting them inside an air-tight container will not help you. But, you will also have to keep them in a cool, dry, dark place where no humidity and air gets in contact.

In addition, cilantro is a herb that loves cool temperatures. Therefore, you will have to refrigerate them once bought, covering them loosely with plastic wrap. 

You can also set the fresh cilantro bunch in water by filling a jar or a water glass partly with water and putting the stem edges of the herb into the water in the water container you use. In this way, they will stay fresh and crisp for about two weeks.

Moreover, just like coriander seeds, you can keep dried coriander leaves (cilantro) in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, dark place.

If you need to learn more tips about storing coriander seeds, click here for a fully detailed article.

Two Culinary Elements In One Plant- Isn’t Coriander Amazing?

Coriander is indeed an impressive culinary ingredient that provides us with both- a spice and a herb. Both cilantro and coriander seeds are versatile, aromatic, nutritious, and flavorsome, giving you plenty of reasons to cook with them. 

Whether you are a newcomer to the kitchen or someone who wanted more facts about using coriander, we think you got enough on how to use coriander in cooking. So, don’t think twice about buying coriander when you shop next time. You see- there’s a ton of dishes you can make!

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