Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How to Dry Coriander Seed ...

How DO you dry coriander seed? Wait a minute.... What the heck IS coriander?

Well, until about three months ago, I'd never heard of or cooked with coriander, much less did I know about it's origins and roots. I am now so very glad I gave this spice a try. It is extremely common in dishes around the world, especially Indian dishes, as it's a key spice in Garam Masala.


Word of warning... if you don't like cilantro, you may not like coriander. Why? Because they're from the same flippin' plant. Cilantro is the leaf and coriander is the seed. [UPDATE: Because they are the SAME plant. The name "Cilantro" commonly refers to the leaf while "Coriander" commonly refers to the seed.] I happen to be on the side of the fence that ADORES cilantro so, I think coriander and I are gonna have a promising relationship...that is, if I learn how to dry it.

Coriander can be used green but is commonly used dried whole or ground. The best time for harvesting is when the cilantro leaves are starting to brown, usually late summer or, if you live in Oklahoma...right about now. It made sense to me to pick off the seeds and let them dry away.


Guess what? It is so not the officially recommended method. I should have googled first but here is the answer to our question: Cut stems, hang to dry for a week or so inside a bag or over a bag until seeds have FALLEN OFF... that is, of their own accord. As in, no work necessary. As in, a half an hour saved. Then, that's that. Store in a dry, sealed container. So, if you are growing Cilantro and just chucking the seeds, give this a shot. It'll be worth it.

7 comments:

Susan said...

Lovely last shot - saw it on Foodgawker. I've harvested them when very browned and nearly falling off the plants still in the sunny plot. Such amazing fragrance when barely crushed.

David said...

Great! I have cilantro growing and was wondering how to save the seeds but I never got around to looking it up. This will come in handy very soon!

tastyeatsathome said...

Cool! I grew cilantro for the first time this year, and it's growing big fat seeds right now! I think I'll harvest them and dry them, just like this. Great idea.

Camryn said...

Not quite accurate... coriander and cilantro are both the name for the exact same thing, namely the entire plant (leaves, seeds, everything). It's one of many examples of American English showing more use of Spanish- or Italian-derived words for foods with UK English more aligned to French (e.g. Courgette/Zucchini etc).

Traveling Spork said...

Thanks everyone for your interest and comments. Camryn, great point. I make no claims at being an expert so I did do some research before posting and it verified what you said... For the sake of simplicity, I referenced the parts of the plant as they are commonly called for in recipes. By, "commonly" I guess I should preface meaning common in the U.S. or, at least in Miami, OK. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify but, yeah, you are totally right. This reminds me of when I ordered Haricot Verts only to learn that they were GREEN BEANS! Yuck.

GradStudent said...

I found your post googling "how to dry coriander". Thank you!! I was about to rip the seeds and the leaves off.

Anonymous said...

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