Cilantro, also known as coriander or “Dhania”, is a sweet-smelling herb with wide, subtle lacy leaves and a pungent smell. It belongs to the apiaceous family also recognized as the carrot family which includes of plants like celery, parsley, cumin, parsnip and carrot. This delicate herb has its origin in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor (Turkey) regions. The nutritional profile of coriander seeds is diverse from the fresh stems and leaves. Because leaves are mainly rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, with moderate content of dietary minerals.
Even though seeds generally have lower content of vitamins, they do deliver significant amounts of dietary fiber, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium and manganese. The plant normally grows up to a height of 1 to 2 feet and possesses dark green, hairless, soft leaves having a capricious shape which are broad at the base of the plant, and slim and feathery higher on nearby the flowering stems. Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is rich in the list of the healing spices. In many parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been brought up to as an "anti-diabetic" plant. However in the Asia, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects. Moreover all parts of the plant are edible, and it is the fresh leaves and dried seeds are most widely used in cooking. However Cilantro seeds are round to oval in shape, yellowish brown in color with a flavor that is aromatic, sweet and citrus as well as slightly peppery. Their seeds are usually used as spice. Moreover different people may observe the taste of coriander leaves contrarily. Those who like the Cilantro say it has a refreshing, lemony or lime-like flavor, while those who distaste it have a strong aversion to its taste and smell, likening it to that of soap and bug. Like other spices coriander is available throughout the year providing a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage.
The fruit of the coriander plant comprises two seeds which, when dried, are the portions used as the dried spice. But when it gets ripe, the seeds are becomes yellowish-brown in color with longitudinal ridges. Coriander seeds are available full or in ground powder form. Coriander is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, South Asian, Mexican, Latin American, Chinese, African and Southeast Asian cuisine.