Coriander (Coriandrum sativam) is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander grows wild over a wide area of the Near East and southern Europe, prompting the comment, “It is hard to define exactly where this plant is wild and where it only recently established itself.” Fifteen desiccated mericarps were found in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B level of the Nahal Hemel Cave in Israel, which may be the oldest archeological find of coriander. About half a litre of coriander mericarps were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen, and because this plant does not grow wild in Egypt, Zohary and Hopf interpret this find as proof that coriander was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. The Bible mentions coriander in Exodus 16:31: “And the house of Israel began to call its name Manna: and it was round like coriander seed, and its taste was like that of flat cakes made with honey.”
Coriander seems to have been cultivated in Greece since at least the second millennium BC. One of the Linear B tablets recovered from Pylos refers to the species as being cultivated for the manufacture of perfumes, and it appears that it was used in two forms: as a spice for its seeds and as a herb for the flavor of its leaves. This appears to be confirmed by archaeological evidence from the same period: the large quantities of the species retrieved from an Early Bronze Age layer at Sitagroi in Macedonia could point to cultivation of the species at that time.
Coriander was brought to the British colonies in North America in 1670 and was one of the first spices cultivated by early settlers.
Mutton Masala Curry
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
Oil (as required)
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
400 gms (14 ml) Mutton (cut into square pieces)
4 large Onions (cut into large pieces)
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
½ cup (118 ml) Coconut Scrapings
1 cup (236 ml) Water
Salt to taste
- Make a paste with coconut scrapings, cumin seed, salt, poppy seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, turmeric powder and chili powder.
- Add pieces of 3 onions, ginger-garlic paste to the paste and mix it well for the marinade.
- Marinate the mutton with the marinade for about ½ hour.
- Thread meat and onion alternately on to the skewers.
- Deep fry the skewered meat.
- Take a pan, add oil and fry the remaining onions until its turns brown.
- Add the remaining masala paste into the oil with water to make a sauce.
Put the skewered meat and simmer till done.
- Inflammation and swelling on body – Take equal quantity of vinegar, coriander powder, make a paste and apply it on any affected body part. This will help in easing out inflammation and will reduce swelling as well.
- Nose bleeding (Nakseer ) – Applying green coriander leaves paste on the head helps in stopping nose bleeding.
- Malaria – If a person feel cold and suffer from fever regularly then take coriander powder and saunth (dry ginger powder) in equal quantity. Take 5 gram of this mixture with water four times a day. Malaria recovery will be much faster by drinking this mixture.
- Stomach ache -Take coriander powder, add sugar crystal in it and have this mixture with a glass of water.
- Inflammation in stomach or stomach pain can be eased off easily by this remedy.
Coriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice. A study found both the leaves and seed to contain antioxidants, but the leaves were found to have a stronger effect.
Chemicals derived from coriander leaves were found to have antibacterial activity against Salmonella choleraesuis, and this activity was found to be caused in part by these chemicals acting as nonionic surfactants.
Coriander has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iran. Experiments in mice support its use as an anxiolytic. Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid. In holistic and traditional medicine, it is used as a carminative and as a digestive aid.
Coriander has been documented as a traditional treatment for diabetes. A study on mice found that coriander extract had both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity.
Coriander seeds were found in a study on rats to have a significant hypolipidemic effect, resulting in lowering of levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein. This effect appeared to be caused by increasing synthesis of bile by the liver and increasing the breakdown of cholesterol into other compounds.
Coriander juice (mixed with turmeric powder or mint juice) is used as a treatment for acne, applied to the face in the manner of toner.
Coriander leaves (Cilantro) contain aldehydes, which are also found in soaps and lotions, leading some to complain of a mild to highly irritating soapy flavor. There appears to be a genetic component to the detection of “soapy” versus “herby” tastes.
Coriander can produce an allergic reaction in some people