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Coriander is becoming more and more popular in Europe

In Asia, coriander is widely used, while the Europeans tend to be slightly sceptical of the lemony, soapy flavour. Nevertheless, its popularity in Europe is growing by leaps and bounds. The fresh green leaves add colour and give poultry, fish and seafood, soups and vegetables from the wok an interesting taste. It’s a key flavouring for oriental dishes using lentils or chickpeas. Make a simple starter with fresh pineapple, which is lightly salted and sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves. If you’re adding coriander to hot dishes, sprinkle it on just before serving to preserve the aroma. Be careful not to overdose, because too much coriander quickly generates a "soapy" taste.

Coriander seeds add a hint of the exotic

Dried coriander seeds are also used in cooking. In contrast to the fresh leaves, the seeds taste rather sweetish and slightly flowery. Toasting the seeds briefly in a pan without fat enhances the flavour. Ground coriander seeds feature in many spice mixtures, such as curry powder and Lebkuchen spice mix. Coriander harmonizes very well with potatoes, sausage, bread and sweet pastries. Their essential oils stimulate digestion and make cabbage and pulses more easily digested.

Grow your own coriander

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an umbellifer that is probably native to the eastern Mediterranean region. It’s an annual that can grow 60 to 70 centimetres tall. The leaves are fan-shaped at the bottom and finely feathered at the top. If you plant coriander in your garden you’ll be assured of fresh pickings in spring and summer. Coriander isn’t difficult to grow, it thrives in any sheltered spot in sun or semi-shade. Cut the leaves and stems as required; they’ll grow again. The spherical, light brown seeds can be harvested as soon as they ripen and then dried. If you’re shopping for fresh coriander, you’ll usually find it in bunches or pots. The whole or ground seeds should be sold in airtight packaging.


Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de