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Coriander (Coriandum sativum), also known as cilantro, is a hardy annual. It resembles parsley in leaf shape and formation but tastes quite different from parsley.
Coriander is used both in leaf and seed form. Cuisines that make a lot of use of coriander leaves and seeds include Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern and Chinese cooking.
Coriander is best grown from seed in the very spot you intend to keep it. It does not like being shifted once it has established itself and seedlings die easily when transplanted.
Grow in a sunny spot with rich, light and well draining soil. Coriander tends to prefer garden beds over containers; coriander can be fickle about being confined in pots.
It is possible to harvest the fresh leaves from a large healthy plant various times. Rinse and dry before using.
Once harvested, coriander leaves are best used quickly, for they don't last long. Keep the cut coriander stems cool until ready for use. The leaves can be frozen; chop and place in resealable bags, then add to the freezer.
The seeds can be harvested and dried for later use, either to replant or to use as coriander spice (whole or ground). The leaves cannot be dried, they wither up and lose their flavor.
Uses for coriander
Coriander goes well with a wide variety of ingredients, including fish, coconut, citrus, vegetables, avocado, etc.