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All about “Coriander”

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Health profile

The coriander can be consumed for its leaves (fresh or dried) as well as its seeds, two parts which are sufficiently distinct in terms of their levels of different active compounds. To date, the health effects associated with the consumption of coriander have not been studied in humans. On the other hand, certain properties attributed to coriander have been evaluated in animals and this sheet will deal in particular with these studies.

Active ingredients and properties

Antioxidants . Antioxidants are compounds that reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body. These are very reactive molecules that are implicated in the onset of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and other diseases linked to aging 1 . Coriander contains several antioxidant compounds, mainly in the form of phenolic acids 2 , but also coumarins, terpenoids and flavonoids 3 . Coriander leaves are said to contain more phenolic acids than its seeds 2. In return, the seeds contain a small amount of flavonoids, compounds absent from the leaves. An in vitro study also reports higher antioxidant activity in extracts of coriander leaves compared to seeds 3 .

Coriander against diabetes?
Researchers have shown that adding coriander seed extracts to the diet of diabetic mice leads to lower blood sugar levels 8 . Coriander seeds are said to contain compounds that can stimulate insulin secretion and increase the entry of glucose into cells. According to the study authors, coriander could represent a new food adjuvant for controlling blood sugar in people with diabetes. Controlled clinical studies are, however, necessary to verify whether such an effect also occurs in humans.

According to the Canadian Nutrient File , fresh coriander leaves contain carotenoids, including beta-carotene . For comparison, 125 ml of fresh coriander would contain almost as much beta-carotene as 250 ml of broccoli. On the other hand, the same quantity of fresh coriander would contain ten times less than a carrot, a vegetable known for its exceptional beta-carotene content. Remember that beta-carotene is better absorbed in the body with lipids at the same meal and that it has the capacity to transform itself into vitamin A in the body. Coriander seeds, on the other hand, do not contain this precious antioxidant compound.

In addition to contributing to the antioxidant activity of coriander, the presence of these substances would partly explain its antibacterial activity observed in vitro 4 . Still under experimental conditions, it has been shown that certain antioxidant compounds in coriander seeds also have an antioxidant effect on human cells 5 . Even if this study does not evaluate the specific consumption of coriander seeds, the results reveal a certain protective effect against oxidative stress in the body 5 .

Blood lipids . Research in rats has found that adding coriander seeds to their diet can lower total cholesterol , LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides , as well as increase cholesterol levels. -HDL (“good” cholesterol) 6.7 . It should be noted that these properties have been observed in animals with an already deteriorated lipid profile and that the quantity of coriander seeds used represented 10% of their daily diet 7. One of the mechanisms of action would be the decrease in the absorption of bile acids in the intestine by the effect of coriander, thus resulting in a decrease in cholesterol in the body 6 . These very preliminary results will have to be evaluated in humans before concluding that the consumption of coriander on blood lipids is convincing.

Other properties

Is coriander antioxidant? We know that coriander contains antioxidant substances, but currently its TAC index is not available.
Is coriander acidifying? No data available
Does coriander have a high glycemic load? No data available

Most important nutrients

See the meaning of the nutrient source classification symbols

Excellent source Vitamin K . The raw cilantro leaves are an excellent source of vitamin K for women and a good source for the man , the need for vitamin K of man being higher than those of women. As for the dehydrated coriander leaves , they are a sourceof vitamin K. Vitamin K is necessary for the synthesis (manufacture) of proteins which collaborate in the coagulation of the blood (as much in the stimulation as in the inhibition of the blood coagulation). It also plays a role in bone formation. In addition to being found in food, vitamin K is manufactured by bacteria present in the intestine, hence the rarity of deficiencies in this vitamin.

What is a “portion” of coriander worth?
Weight / volume Raw coriander leaves, 8 g (125 ml) Dehydrated coriander leaves, 1 g (5 ml) Coriander seeds, 2 g (5 ml)
Calories 2 2 5
Protein 0.2g 0.1g 0.2g
Carbohydrates 0.3 g 0.3 g 1.0 g
Fat 0.0 g 0.0 g 0.3 g
Dietary fiber 0.2g 0.1g 0.8g

Source  : Health Canada. Canadian Nutrient File , 2005.


Oral allergy syndrome
Coriander is implicated in oral allergy syndrome. This syndrome is an allergic reaction to certain proteins from a range of fruits, vegetables and nuts. It affects individuals with allergies to environmental pollens. Oral allergy syndrome is almost always preceded by hay fever . When some people are allergic to birch pollenconsume raw coriander (cooking usually degrades allergenic proteins), an immunological reaction may occur. Local symptoms limited to the mouth, lips and throat such as itching and burning sensations may then appear, and usually disappear within a few minutes after consuming or touching the offending food. In the absence of other symptoms, this reaction is not serious and consumption of coriander does not have to be systematically avoided. However, it is recommended that you consult an allergist to determine the cause of reactions to plant foods. The latter will be able to assess whether special precautions should be taken.

Vitamin K and anticoagulotherapy
The coriander leaves (fresh or dried) contain significant amounts of vitamin K. This vitamin, necessary among other things for blood clotting, can be produced by the body in addition to being found in certain foods. People taking blood thinners , such as those marketed under the names Coumadin®, Warfilone® and Sintrom®, should eat a diet in which the vitamin K content is relatively stable from day to day. Herbs, such as coriander, contain vitamin K and should therefore be used as a seasoning only, not as an accompaniment or meal (such as a salad made from coriander leaves). People on anticoagulation therapy are advised to consult a dietitian-nutritionist or a doctor, in order to know the food sources of vitamin K and to ensure a daily intake as stable as possible.

Coriander over time

The term ”  coriander  “, which appeared in the XII th  century, comes from the Latin coriandrum , who borrowed from the Greek koriandron . This word means ” male bug (kori ) ( andros )”, by allusion to the unpleasant odor of the fresh seeds, which would recall that which the male bug emits.

Coriander is unknown in the wild, so it is difficult to know its exact center of origin, but it is thought to come from the Mediterranean basin, Asia Minor or the Near East. The seeds were already used by the Semitic peoples 6000 years before our era, then by the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, who flavored their bread. The plant is also mentioned in the Bible, where it is compared to the manna. In the Middle Ages, it was widespread throughout Europe and it was introduced to America by the Spanish during the conquest.

The leaves of coriander are a classic Middle Eastern cuisines, parts of India, Southeast Asia and Latin America. On the other hand, with the exception of Portugal, where they are used in a multitude of traditional dishes, their use in the West is relatively recent, because they were once accused of having a foul odor. However, under the influence of the different waves of immigrants who brought their culinary traditions with them, this situation was completely reversed, to the point that fresh coriander is today one of the most popular herbs on the market. . In Southeast Asia, roots are also used and added to soup, stews and marinated condiments.

Coriander is cultivated on a large scale for its seeds in Ukraine, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Argentina, Mexico and Romania. Most of the world’s production goes to the preparation of curry powder , which contains 25% to 40%. In addition, an essential oil is obtained from it, which is widely used in bakery and delicatessen, in alcoholic beverages, in perfumery as well as in pharmaceutical products, where it masks the bitterness of certain drugs. In Eastern Europe and Russia, a subspecies is grown whose seeds are smaller and richer in essential oil.

Culinary uses

To access other recipes, you can go to the cooking recipe site, which offers, among other things, the following recipes: carrot and coriander soup , Chicken with coriander, Duck breast with coriander

Choose well

The leaves should be very green, fresh, without yellowing or wilting.

Culinary dishes


To enhance their flavor, dry roast them in a pan before grinding them and adding them to dishes.

Better digest legumes
We suggest adding ground coriander seeds to lentils or other legumes when cooking them, as they have a reputation for helping digestion.
  • They are essential in curries and chutneys, as well as in many spice  mixes: Berber mix, Tunisian tabil, North African harissa, Indian masalas, marinade spices, etc.
  • Simple to prepare and very tasty, the Egyptian dukkat is initially composed of salt, coriander seeds and ground peanuts (in equal parts) and, secondly, sesame seeds and roasted chickpeas dry as well as dried mint (in equal parts). The two preparations are then passed through the mixer at the rate of two parts for the first and one part for the second. We generally season local bread with this mixture.
  • They are used in cookies, cakes, gingerbread , as well as in tagines, couscous, sauerkraut and other stews.
  • Corn Salsa: Unlike most salsa recipes, it uses seeds rather than leaves. Chop garlic and a strong green pepper. Brown fresh corn kernels in oil, add roasted and ground coriander seeds, garlic and chilli, and cook for about ten minutes. Put in a bowl and add chopped tomatoes and onions, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper and let the preparation cool for a few hours in the refrigerator.


Good up to the root
Fresh coriander is often sold with its root, which can be used in various preparations, provided that it is chopped or finely ground, as it is generally fibrous.

They are generally used raw. They will only be added to cooked dishes at the end of cooking, the heat dissipating their aroma. Season soups, curries, broths and broths, omelettes, salads, mashed potatoes, rice, etc.

They are the epitome of a multitude of regional sauces , including the following.

  • The zhoug and shatta Yemeni , universal sauces that are used in salads, on cooked vegetables, meat, poultry or fish, and which are composed of leaves and stems of parsley and coriander, hot peppers fresh, cumin or caraway, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil that we pass together in a blender. These two sauces are distinguished by the fact that the first includes green peppers and is stronger than the second, which however includes red peppers.
  • Mexican salsa: whether it is made from tomatoes, tomatillos, avocado or fruit, it almost always includes a good amount of chopped cilantro leaves. The salsa cruda which, as its name suggests, is not cooked, includes equal parts tomatillos, sweet onions and coriander leaves. Chop everything, add the juice of a lime and a small Serrano chili, finely chopped or, failing that, a jalapeno.
  • Salsa picante verde Peru: pass mixer green peppers (Serrano or jalapeno) with a bundle of coriander, stems plus some garlic, onion and some small spoonfuls of olive oil and water. Mix to obtain a smooth sauce. Serve over grilled meat or vegetables. It is best to prepare this sauce just before serving.
  • A Georgian sauce: mix dried apricots or other dried fruits with garlic, green onions, nuts or sunflower seeds, and a large quantity of coriander leaves, to which we will add, depending on availability , basil, dill, parsley and tarragon leaves. Serve with raw vegetables.
  • A Portuguese sauce: cook beans or white beans and sauté in oil with garlic and a good amount of chopped cilantro. Add crème fraîche or yogurt, bring to a boil, then pass through a blender. Season with salt and pepper and whisk the sauce with butter. Serve with fish.

Other suggestions

  • Açorda alentejana  : this soup from Portugal, which sometimes constitutes a complete meal, is incredibly simple. This involves cooking fresh coriander in salted water with garlic and a little olive oil. They then poach an egg and soak a piece of cornbread. And There you go!
  • Chinese cucumber soup: add chopped ginger, chopped cucumbers, sliced ​​shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce and, if desired, chicken, crabmeat or shrimp to hot broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for a few minutes, until the meat or seafood is ready. Garnish with a good handful of coriander leaves.
  • Entrance of hard-boiled eggs: cut hard-boiled eggs lengthwise, delicately remove the yolk and mix it with a little sesame oil and chopped cilantro leaves. Stuff the whites with this preparation and serve.
  • Indian eggplant starter: cook eggplant in water or in the oven until just done (depending on size, it can take 30 to 60 minutes). Peel and mash the flesh in a bowl with a fork. Add yogurt, hot peppers, cumin, garam malasa, finely chopped red onions and a good amount of chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Add fresh coriander to mussels or cockles before serving.
  • Twenty minutes before the end of cooking, add 250 ml to the preparation of meat and vegetables for couscous .
  • Ceviche: to prepare this popular dish in South America, marinate raw fish in lemon juice with onions and cilantro leaves, until the flesh of the fish becomes cloudy.
  • Pad Thai  : this classic of Thai cuisine is composed of rice noodles, tofu, shrimp or chicken, and scrambled eggs; it is seasoned with garlic, shallots, fish sauce, peppers and ginger. Garnish with roasted peanuts, chopped with cilantro leaves, and serve with mung bean sprouts.
  • Herb butter : mix butter and soft goat cheese with chopped cilantro leaves. Coat this preparation with baked potatoes or sautéed vegetables, or spread with a slice of bread.
  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves a dish of green or yellow beans cooked in water.
  • Falafels:the Egyptian version of this recipe is prepared with gourganes (or, failing that, white beans) soaked overnight in water. Thinly slice them with dill, parsley and coriander leaves (125 ml of each herb for 500 ml of gourgan), two onions, the white of a leek and ten cloves of garlic. Add cumin, cayenne pepper (optional) and salt. If desired, add a little baking soda to rise (but it is not essential), knead for a few minutes, then leave to stand for one hour at room temperature. Form patties about 2 cm thick and 5 cm in diameter, sprinkle one side with sesame seeds and fry in the oil until the patties are golden brown. Serve in pita bread with fresh tomatoes and onions, and drained yogurt.
  • Green rice: mix 250 ml of coriander leaves with a small onion, garlic in the desired quantity, two small green peppers and about 250 ml of vegetable or chicken broth. Brown the rice in oil for a few minutes, add the cilantro sauce and again 250 ml of broth, bring to a boil, cover and cook for around twenty minutes.
  • Fruit salad: slices of bananas, oranges and pineapples, raisins and a good handful of chopped coriander leaves. Drizzle lemon juice sweetened with honey.


Leaves: in a plastic bag in the refrigerator . They will last much longer if put in a glass of water and covered with a plastic bag. Change the water every day. In the freezer  : chop the leaves and place them in ice cube trays with a little water. It is not recommended to dry them, as this dissipates their aroma.

Seeds: cool, dry and protected from light in an airtight container.

Organic gardening

Coriander is very easy to grow, whether for its leaves or seeds.

For the production of leaves, cool temperatures are preferable, because the plant easily rises to seeds when it is hot (which, of course, is an advantage when you want to harvest the seeds). In fact, it is best to sow them throughout the season, from spring to fall, which will allow you to always have fresh leaves at your disposal and to harvest seeds later in the fall. .

To accelerate germination, which is rather slow, soak the seeds overnight before sowing them about 2.5 cm deep. Thin the plants to 12 cm.

Avoid excessively rich manures, which would reduce the flavor of the plant.

You can start harvesting the leaves about six weeks after sowing. We will have them until early winter if we take the trouble to protect the plants with an agrotextile when frost threatens.

For seed production, harvest the entire plant when the seed color changes from green to beige. Put the head in a paper bag and hang upside down in a dry place. Save part of the harvest for sowing the following year.

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