Citrus, floral and warming, coriander plays a rare dual role as a herb and a spice. Coriander is sown mainly in Rajasthan, India, but sowing has picked up in Gujarat, India. The plant's dried seeds and pungent leaves are both used. The spice -the dry-roasted seeds – is incorporated into many curry blends and chutneys. North African harissa which is used throughout the Middle East for vegetables, stews, and sausages, typically contains coriander.
Coriander is high in fibre, manganese and vitamin K. Dermatologist research suggests that it might protect against eczema and other dry and fungal skin conditions. Rich in immune-boosting antioxidants, it may benefit heart and brain health. In traditional remedies, coriander prescriptions were administered to those with ailments such as stomach ulcers.
Referenced in the Bible, coriander is one of the oldest spices on record, with evidence of the seeds placed at ruins dating back to 5000BC. Amongst the gold and jewels, archaeologists found evidence of coriander seeds in the tomb of Tutankhamun, believing that the spice transported the dead to the afterlife.
The Grecians and the Romans used coriander as a medicine and a meat preservative. They would use it in dishes like lentils and chestnuts.
Two millenniums back, coriander came to India via Persia, and evidence suggests that it was used from China to Anglo-Saxon Britain four centuries later.
Early European settlers to North America introduced coriander to the indigenous population, which soon became widely cultivated. By the 18th Century, coriander fell out of favour with the fashionistas. Nevertheless, it still played a pivotal role in Gin distilling and beer brewing, as it still does to this day.
When it comes to coriander leaves, most people get a tart/sharp lemon citrus taste. However, approximately ten per cent of people get a washing up liquid or soap taste. Science suggests a link to a gene called aldehyde that senses the same chemical "aldehyde" found in soap.
Chief flavour profile
Linalool: (floral, orange and sweet) there are other lighter flavoured terpenes in this compound. This versatile spice pairs well with other floral flavours like cardamom, nutmeg and mace.
A slightly sweet and nutty aromatic blend the Advieh Ash blend is the perfect finish for soups of all concoctions.The predominant ingredient of dried fenugreek leaves gives the blend a nutty aroma, which pairs particularly well with root vegetables. Just a few pinches sprinkled over your soup before serving will add a whole new dimension.
Rich in cumin seeds, this medium spiced, piquant blend can be used in seafood dishes. "Mahi" meaning fish in Persian, offers the marriage of the nutritional benefits of the spices with fish, meaning the omega-3 properties produced, give an extra health boost at your next fish supper. This can be mixed with a neutral oil and brushed over grilled or roasted cod, sea bass, or even salmon, for a perfectly seasoned fish dish.
Baharat is the garam masala of the Arabian Peninsula. This blend is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky without any spiciness. An all-purpose exotic blend of heady spices this blend packs a punch, so less is definitely more. Used across the Middle East, with each area having a little twist on the basic blend.
This is an exquisitely savoury and versatile Yemeni spice blend. Aromatic and warm, with a hint of nutty, bittersweet sharpness and slight pepperiness, this deeply fragrant golden coppery blend can be used as a spice rub for slow-cooked pork or beef or as a marinade to chicken or fish for those summer barbecue evenings. It can be added to stews, pies, curry-style dishes, rice and roasted vegetable dishes. This Yemenite blend will give you happiness all year round.
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