Coriander – Coriandrum sativum

Coriandrum sativum

Coriander – Coriandrum sativum is native to SE Asia and North Africa and often considered a weed of cultivated and waste ground. Grows best in light well drained soil , with a dry atmosphere, it dislikes the damp. Easily grown from seeds, directly in the ground as coriander has a long tap root and dislikes being moved. Over crowding can cause the plant to bolt as can high temperatures.

If growing for leaves, then it is best to sow seed on a regular basis to ensure continued supplies. If growing for seed then allow plant to mature until seed heads form and the seeds ripen.

Coriander is one of the oldest known herbs and has been cultivated for over 3000 years. The herb has been mentioned in ancient texts, including the old testament. The leaves and the seeds have very different properties and are used in quite different ways. The leaves have a distinctively pungent aroma  and tend to cause people to love or hate them, whilst the seeds are more warmly aromatic.

The seeds are an ingredient of Garam Masala and used frequently in curries, and chutneys. The leaves can be added fresh to salads, sauces and curries .

Coriander Dip

Ideal with Poppadums before a meal

2 bunches of coriander

250ml natural yogurt

150g desiccated coconut

4-6 green chillies – seeds removed for a milder flavour

4 cloves of garlic

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon sugar

Juice of 2-3  limes

Place all ingredients in blender, blend to a paste. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly

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