This beautiful green plant,Cilantro is the leaf of the young coriander plant, Coriandrum sativum, an herb in the parsley family, similar to anise. It grows wild in South East Europe and had been cultivated in Egypt, India and China for thousands of years.
Its botanical name is Coriandum sativum. Its Arabic name is Kizbarah khadara, meaning green coriander—as it is the leaf of the coriander seed. It is also referred to as Chinese Parsley and Coriander.
Cilantro is mentioned in the Medical Papyrus of Thebes written in 1552 B.C. and is one of the plants which grew in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Greek and Roman physicians hailed its medicinal powers.
The Coriandum sativum herb is believed to have been one of the earliest plantings in North America - dating back to 1670 in Massachusetts - and it soon appeared in Latin America where the Cilantro leaves, rather than the seed, became most popular.
Cilantro has a very pungent odor and the leaves look a bit like flat Italian parsley. Its taste is a mixture of that of parsley and citrus sometimes giving a waxy flavor. Fruits and leaves posses totally different flavour and can therefore not substitute each other. The leaves should always be used fresh as drying destroys most of the leaves' fragrance. Coriander leaves resemble European parsley leaves in a number of ways. They have similar shape and are both best used raw, as the flavour vanishes after prolonged cooking.
The plants grows leaves of two different shapes: The base leaves are broad, similar to Italian parsley, and are reputated for the better flavour. Leaves attached to the stems are have a pinnate shape, and their flavour is said to be less fresh.
Before it is used, Cilantro should be crushed, either by hand or with a mortar and pestle as it is advised to always use fresh.
The taste of the fresh herb is due to an essential oil (0.1%) that is almost entirely made up of aliphatic aldehydes with 10 to 16 carbon atoms.
The uses of the leaves are mostly in cooking. Arabic cooking makes use of both coriander leaves and fruits.
Famous fish recipes used cilantro bolth as a cooking addition and also as a marinade. Baking fish or barbecuing fidh use cilantro as an essential ingredient.
Coriander leaves are most often used raw and fresh, as cooking or even short frying tends to diminish their fragrance. Cilantro(Coriander leaves ,also called coriander green) are used abundantly in Asia , mostly in India, Thailand and China. The leaves are used chopped appearing as decorations on nearly every dish.it is also used in salsas, chutneys, salads, dips, beans, and soups. Cilantro is used in Asian, Mexican, Indian, Caribbean, and North African cuisines, and is used in seasoning blends.
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