A Vegan Guide To Cooking With Coriander
Want to know more about coriander, all its forms and how to cook with it? We’ve got your back. Check out this guide for everything you need to know about this vibrant and aromatic plant, along with our favourite vegan recipes using coriander that you’ll want to cook time and time again.
What is coriander?
Coriander, also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro, is a flowering herb that’s part of the Apiaceae family – which also includes carrots, celery and parsley. The plant is native to a large stretch of the world, from Southern Europe and Northern Africa right across to South Western Asia, making it a common ingredient in many cuisines spanning continents.
Whilst most of the world perceives fresh coriander leaves to taste tart and citrus-like, it’s believed that around 25% of people taste something more like soap. This has something to do with a human gene which detects some of the coriander’s aldehydes which are also present as odorants in soaps.
What are the different parts of coriander you can cook with?
The entire plant is edible, but its fresh leaves and dried seeds are the most popular and widely used. It appears in recipes for curries, soups and salsas to name a few tasty examples.
The entire part of the leaf is generally used in cooking and eaten raw as a garnish, whereas the seeds are more typically dried and either bought as a powder or whole to be ground at home.
What’s the difference between parsley and coriander?
Although the two might be (distantly) related and coriander looks a great deal like flat-leaf parsley, in particular, there are some significant flavour profile differences between the two herbs.
Flat-leaf parsley has a more subtle, milder flavour and scent which is less citrusy and more gently bitter-sweet and almost carrot-top or grass-like taste.
The health benefits of eating coriander
As well as the depth of flavour coriander can add to dishes, its believed health properties alone are enough to add the herb to your regular cooking. Its thought to:
- Be filled with immune-boosting antioxidants
- Promote good digestive health
- Maintain good heart health
- Reduce blood sugar levels
- Help fight infections
Tasty vegan recipes to cook using coriander
Enough talk about coriander – what can we cook with it? Here are a few of our favourite plant-based recipes that are enhanced by their use of coriander.
This vibrant South Indian curry is packed full with red lentils, kale and sweet potatoes and topped with toasted cashews and a crunchy carrot sambhar.
This easy, creamy and comforting daal is perfect for when you’re craving something warm that doesn’t require too much attention.
This velvety, sweet, slightly spiced and nutty soup is the perfect answer to the daily question that is, ‘what should I have for lunch today?’.
by Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.