Food - Drink
The Spice You Absolutely Can't Skip When Cooking Indian Cuisine
By HOPE NGO
Cilantro, also known as coriander, may be a love-it-or-leave-it herb for many in the West, but the same can't be said in Asia, where the herb is used very liberally as an ingredient, garnish, and even side dish. While cilantro is commonly found in Thai and Chinese cooking, the plant's leaves and seeds are especially prized in India.
Cilantro leaves are prized by Indian cooks not just for their taste, but for their brilliant green color. Fresh bunches of the plant are thrown on top of many dishes before serving, and Indian food site Tardalal says chutneys and sauces are also made with coriander leaves and stems, then served alongside sandwiches and breads.
Coriander powder, which is ground from whole dried seeds of the plant, is usually used in conjunction with cumin as a flavor base for Indian dishes across the country. While it is used in gravies and other recipes found in other parts of the land, Taradalal says this spice is especially associated with south Indian cooking.