Native to the Mediterranean and the Orient, coriander is related to the parsley family. It is known for both its seeds (actually the dried, ripe fruit of the plant) and for its dark green, lacy leaves. The flavours of the seeds and leaves bear absolutely no resemblance to each other.
Mention of coriander seeds was found in early Sanskrit writings and the seeds themselves have been discovered in Egyptian tombs dating to 960 BC. Coriander leaves are also known as cilantro and Chinese parsley.
The use of coriander as a remedy for digestive problems along with muscle complaints dates back to ancient Egypt. Studies also suggest coriander has anti-inflammatory qualities. Fresh coriander is rich in Vitamins A and C although eaten in small quantities.
A good source of…
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Preparing and Using
Fresh coriander leaves have an extremely pungent odour and flavour that lends itself well to highly seasoned food. Though it’s believed to be the world’s most widely used herb, many Europeans find that fresh coriander is an acquired taste.
Choose leaves with an even green colour and no sign of wilting. Store a bunch of coriander,stems down, in a glass of water with a plastic bag over the leaves. Refrigerate in this manner for up to a week, changing the water every two days. Coriander leaves are used widely in the cuisines of India, Mexico, the Orient and the Caribbean.
Coriander is used in salads such as: chicken,fruit, ham, mixed greens, pasta and tuna. It is added to carrot, chicken and pea soups and stocks. It goes well with curried poultry and fish dishes, beef, lamb, pork and sausages. It complements cauliflower, onions, potatoes,spinach and tomatoes and is used in chutneys,fruit juices, jams, marinades, and with sweetbreads. It can be used to flavour oils and cheese, chocolate and fruit sauces.
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Lovely spicy marinade.
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The longer you cook this shoulder of lamb the better so don’t worry if it gets an extra hour or so. The meat should be so tender that it is easily shred with a fork.