This is my entry to weekend herb blogging.. The three important herbs which come to my mind are Coriander leaves, Curry leaves and Mint leaves. I can`t imagine preparing food without curry leaves and coriander leaves back home in India. In India, these are available year around with very nominal prices. Particularly in villages, every household will have a curry leaf tree, a small pot for mint and coriander leaves. I still remember my grandmom calling me from the kitchen and asking me to get the fresh curry leaves and coriander leaves from the garden. I used to obey her, and used to pluck the fresh greens from the garden and used to give to my grandmom. This was my daily routine every morning in every visit to her place. Coming to my mom, she has a small pot for coriander leaves n mint leaves in her apartment balcony.
But after coming to Tokyo, I started cooking with dry curry leaves which I always carry from India. And slowly got used with the curries without coriander leaves and particularly no mint leaves in Biryanis L. For me, these became seasonal greens.
Now, here its season for mint and coriander. Now I can blog on one of these herbs. I chose coriander leaves for my first weekend herb blogging
A little I know and read about coriander leaves:
Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment. Fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro and bear a strong resemblance to Italian flat leaf parsley. This is not surprising owing to the fact that they belong to the same plant family. All parts of the plant, leaves, fruits (coriander fruits are often referred as seeds) , and root are edible。The root of the plant is mostly used in Thailand. The plants develop leaves of two different shapes。The base leaves are broad and are reputed for the better flavor。Leaves attached to the stems have a pinnate shape, and their flavor is said to be less fresh. Coriander, also commonly called cilantro in North America. Coriander is commonly used in South Asian, Chinese, South East Asian, African cuisines.
Purchasing and storing :
1.Fresh coriander leaves should look vibrantly fresh and be deep green in color and should show no sign of yellowing and wilting. Try to buy coriander with their roots still attached. If you want to store with roots still then place the roots in a glass of water and cover the leaves with a loosely fitting plastic bag.. If you want to remove the roots then when you get your bunch home, immediately remove the roots and, wrap the coriander leaves in a damp cloth or paper towel and place them in a plastic bag..
2.Whenever possible, buy whole coriander seeds instead of coriander powder since the latter loses its flavor more quickly, and coriander seeds can be easily ground with a mortar and pestle. Coriander seeds and coriander powder should be kept in an opaque, tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground coriander will keep for about four to six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.
3.Coriander seeds and coriander powder should be kept in an opaque, tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground coriander will keep for about four to six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.
Health Benefits of Coriander:
Coriander is quite nutritious, and rich in Vitamin C. Research carried out in the United States suggests that coriander may be beneficial for lowering blood-cholesterol. In lab experiments carried out with diabetic mice, coriander also showed the effect of lowering blood sugar level. Coriander even contains antibiotic substances that can prevent some forms of food poisoning.
Coriander – Tomato chutney :
The chutney is very common dish in our family whether it a coriander-tomato or anything else. See the list of chutneys we prepare in our family here.
Coriander – Tomato Chutney
Coriander – 1/2 cup chopped
Tomato – 4 to 5 medium sized
Red chillies – 2
Garlic pods – 2-3 medium
Jeera – 1-2 tspn
Tamarind water – 3 tbsp
Oil – 2-3 tspn
Salt to taste
1.Heat oil in a pan and add red chillies, coriander, tomato and close with the lid.
2.Let them cook on slow flame.
3.Remove from the fire once they become soft (Takes roughly 7 min).Remember,….don’t overcook them.
4.In a mixie, add garlic pods, above mixture , jeera, tamarind water, salt. Grind them.
5.Serve with hot rice, indian clarified butter. Also goes well with Masala vada, pakodi,…
Note : This chutney can be served with / without tempering. Both versions tastes good. I do either way.In the picture above u don’t find tempering.
For tempering :
1.Heat 1 tspn of oil in a pan , add red chillies(Check the spice level of the chutney once , since we have already added red chillies during frying.), 1 tspn of urad dal + Chana dal, jeera-1/2-1 tspn, mustard seeds-1/2 tspn.
2.When mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves – 10 no.
3.Add this mixture to the chutney.
Coriander-Tomato chutney Rice
1.The quantity of the coriander should be less compared to the quantity of the tomato.