Indian cuisine is sort of incomplete without a generous garnishing of chopped green coriander leaves on subzis, daals, salads and chaas.
As a young girl, I would be amazed to see my mother adding coriander to all dishes prepared by her. I would even tease her, “Why leave the milk and water alone?”
And she would say, “Coriander is very beneficial for health”.
Well, every natural ingredient we eat has a host of health benefits. So, I am not surprised that Coriander too has many.
Coriander or cilantro is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium. Its leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein. They also contain calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene in small quantities.
- Controls blood pressure
- Prevents anemia
- Helps in digestion and relieves nausea
- Treats diarrhea
- Reduces menstrual cramps
- Boosts oral health
- Regulates cholesterol
- Controls diabetes
- Treats skin disorder – say bye-bye to eczema, acne and black heads
- Reduces wrinkles
Well, well, you would have never imagined the humble ‘dhaniya’ to have so many benefits.
Ways in which coriander can be used:
- Freshly chopped coriander leaves can be sprinkled on food.
- Guacamole, salsa and hung curd dips.
- Make chutney with it. My recipe of chutney –
100 gms chopped coriander leaves, 1/2 inch thick ginger, 2 tsp roasted cumin seed powder, 7-8 unsalted peanuts, a pinch of asofoetida, black salt, common salt, juice of 1/2 lemon. In the Winter when fresh garlic is available, I add chopped fresh garlic.
One more food in which coriander is used is panipuri ka paani. Interestingly, most people think panipuri is a junk food. Well, I must tell you it is not. Freshly made panipuri ka paani with coriander, mint, ginger, raw mango or tamarind is good for digestion, boiled chana or sprout is good source of protein for vegetarians, and boiled potato and puri provide you with fats. Also, anything eaten in moderation is not bad.
At the vegetable market, you will find two varieties of coriander leaves – one is with broad leaves and the other with small ones. I prefer using small leaves as it has a better aroma and more bite.
So, if you have not been using coriander in your cooking, it’s time you did! It will add such a nice springy green colour to your food!