Coriander Seeds & Leaves

Coriander ( Coriandrum sativum) is an aromatic herb related to parsley, carrot, and celery. It is commonly used across the globe for culinary purposes and known in different names too. The Americans know coriander leaves as Cilantro. And Chinese people called it as Chinese parsley.

Coriander seeds and leaves are using in international dishes such as soups, salsas, masalas and Asian curries. Some cultures people are using boiled coriander water as a substitute for tea.

Coriander seeds are removed from the plant and subjected to pre-treatments like drying and grinding before use.


Benefits of Coriander Seeds and Leaves

1.       Lowers the blood sugar by promoting insulin enzyme activity.

High blood sugar is considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The studies done on coriander seeds, and extracts using lab rats has proven its ability to reduce blood sugar by promoting the insulin enzyme activity. Thus, people with low blood sugar must be cautious when consuming coriander.

2.       Rich in antioxidants

Coriander seeds and leaves contains antioxidant phenolic compounds such as terpinene, quercetin, and tocopherols which promotes immune-boosting, neuroprotective, and anticancer effects in our body. They also can reduce the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells.

3.       Coriander protects your heart.

Coriander affects cholesterol levels in the human body. It lowers the LDL cholesterol and increases the HDL cholesterol which is good for heart health.

4.       Improves memory and helps to reduce anxiety.

5.       Boost appetite.

The citrusy, and refreshing flavour of coriander helps to increase the appetite. Appetite is the main reason you find the main reason why people use this for soups.

6.       Reduces bloating and helps the bowel movements, and digestion.

Coriander helps to soothe the unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating and discomfort resulted by certain diseases like IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

7.       May helps to fight foodborne illnesses and urinary infections.

The antimicrobial activity of coriander helps to fight against inflammations. The compound, Dodecanel found in Cilantro is found to lethal to certain bacteria including Salmonella.

8.       May protect your skin from ageing and sun damage.

The studies done on coriander seed extracts has revealed that the antioxidants in the extract contain the ability to reduce cellular damage that leads to skin ageing and sun damage. Certain cultures practice the use of coriander leaf extracts for skin conditions like acne, pigmentation, oiliness, and dryness.

9.       Helps to soothe mild rashes

10. Promotes weight loss.

The high amount of fibres in the coriander seeds helps to reduce body weight.

Coriander Powder

Difference between Cilantro and Coriander

Cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant, and the coriander refers to the seeds. The main difference between them is the nutritional profile.

Coriander Vs Cilantro (seeds vs Leaves )


 Cilantro (% RDI)

Corriander (% RDI)

Dietary fibre



Vitamin A



Vitamin C



Vitamin K

































Due to a high amount of water, the Cilantro contains less amount of water compared to coriander (dry basis), as the water in Cilantro does not contain any minerals.

The preference for coriander leaves and seeds are differs (cilantro) from person to person based on the flavour profile.

The Cilantro has a fragrant, citrusy, and refreshing taste, and aroma and the coriander pursue warmer spicy, nutty flavour and fragrance. Therefore specific genetic traits of individuals make them perceive differently.

Used in different dishes

The difference in flavour profiles has led people to use them in different dishes.

Cilantro dishes

Coriander dishes




Rice dishes


Soups and stews


Pickled vegetables


Meat rubs


Borodinsky bread


Dhana dhal

Interestingly fresh Cilantro is added to the dishes just before serving. Otherwise, the heat might damage its texture and taste profiles. But roasting enhances the flavour profile of coriander significantly.

Be careful with recipes the name coriander in it.

Although the two items coriander and Cilantro pursue different tastes, some recipes and cultures call them as commonly as coriander. As you can't substitute one ingredient with the other make sure whether it is the leaves or seeds before you make any irreversible mistake.

How to choose and store them

Always choose green and aromatic cilantro bunches for best flavour. Avoid yellow and wilt ones as they are lack in character.

Buy coriander as whole seeds than buying them as powder. Powdered coriander loses its taste and aroma with time; therefore, it's better to grind I just before you use it.

To store Cilantro in the refrigerator, trim the stems and put them into a jar with few inches of water and remove the green and wilted leaves then and there until you have thoroughly used it, and make sure to change the water in the jar often.

Are there any substitutes?

Yes. Spices and herbs can use as a substitute for Cilantro and coriander. But the taste and flavour profiles might vary significantly or slightly.

Substitutes for coriander

1.       Cumin

The grainy black seed cumin is the one to one substitute for coriander. In Moroccan culture is served in the table as similar to the way we serve pepper to garnish our meals. The warm, nutty, and spicy flavour resembles the earthy taste of coriander. It is frequently using for chillies, curries, meat dishes, soups, and stews.

2.       Caraway

The herb relates to the Apiaceae family. Contains same aromatic oils like coriander, including linalool, and pinene that gives the same taste as it provides the same earthy and slightly sweet flavour mostly used in desserts, casseroles, baked goods, and vegetable dishes.

Note – spice mixtures like garam masala, and curry powder are substitute coriander, but the taste and flavour might change drastically.

Substitutes for Cilantro (Coriander leaf)

1.       Parsley

The fresh green leaf resemblance the appearance of coriander. Although it is bitter, it provides the same sweet flavour notes. Hence, parsley is lack of citrusy flavour, adding a small amount of lemon juice, or peel might elevate the dish.

2.       Basil

Addition of Thai basil instead of coriander gives a pleasant flavour pop to individual dishes such as curries. If used as a garnish fresh and chopped basil offers new, and a bright look without sacrificing the flavour.

Note – a mix blend of dill, parsley, oregano, and tarragon can resemble the taste of Cilantro.


Coriander seeds and leaves (Cilantro) are highly used spice around the globe. In any case, if you run out of spices but crave for the taste,  simple alterations like the addition of dill, oregano, cumin, parsley, caraway, and spice mixtures might resemble the taste successfully.

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