Coriander is an annual herb growing to 50 cm (20 inches) tall. It is a soft plant so, its every part are edible, but the green leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most used in cooking. Raw coriander leaves consist of 92% water, 4% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and less than 1% fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It has several names such as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, dhania, Chinese parsley, or cilantro.
The leaves are broadly lobed at the base and feathery higher on the flowering stems. The leaves have different taste from the seeds and used as an ingredient in many South Asian foods (such as chutney and salads), in Chinese, Thai, Burmese, Mexican, Russia, etc. The leaves can spoil quickly when removed from the plant, and lose their aroma when dried or frozen.
Coriander is commonly found both as a completely dried seed and in the ground form that has a lemony citrus flavor when crushed, described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange- flavored. Their roots have a deeper, more intense flavor than the leaves. It is used in a variety of Asian and Thai dishes such as soups and curry pastes.
How to grow coriander?
This herb can be grown outdoor and indoor as well as it is effortless to grow. If you want to produce seed quicker then prefer seed variety than that of leaf variety. It can be planted from late March until early September.
- Well-drained, fertile soil is required to plant coriander. If your soil needs to be improved, good garden compost or well-rotted manure should be added.
- Plant seeds in-group of five spaced 20 cm between rows and 20 cm between plants.
- Plants should be adequately watered so that soil never dries out and flowers should be removed immediately. It is not necessary to put extra effort if the soil is nourished.
- When the plant is fully grown and robust enough to cope, leaves can be harvested. Leaves can be plucked or cut off.
- The leaves including the stalks can be used, but if you are growing it for its seeds, you need to wait until the flowers have died off before harvesting.
You can also grow coriander in pots and trays as well with good multi-purpose compost. Coriander plants have deep taproots, so pots need to be at least twenty-five cm deep. Seeds should be planted and filled with some fast draining soil. After that, the container should be placed in a sunny spot. Germination will take three weeks, and coriander can be harvested. Replantation of coriander every three weeks is necessary if you want a continual supply during the summer.
Coriander leaves have vitamin C, vitamin K, and protein and contain a small amount of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin, and carotene. It helps in the reduction of fat and sugar level. Coriander also lowers bad cholesterol and increases the levels of good cholesterol, promotes liver functions, stimulates the insulin secretion. Coriander’s antiseptic properties help to cure mouth ulcer, and antioxidants in coriander prevent eye diseases. It is an excellent remedy for the treatment of conjunctivitis and can stimulate memory. Likewise, coriander seeds are especially useful for menstrual flow. It also contains a high amount of iron, which is essential for curing anemia.
Drawbacks of coriander
Cilantro leaves or seeds may be allergic to some people. In one study, 32% of children showed allergic response towards it. eThe allergic symptoms may be minor or life-threatening. It can also increase sensitivity to the sun, which may put you at higher risk for sunburns and skin cancer.