09-10-2021 di redazione
Coriander, or dhania as it is called here, is a herbaceous plant whose fruits are used, mistakenly called seeds because they are small and hard, as well as its leaves, which are very similar to those of parsley, which is why coriander is also known as 'Chinese parsley', although it has a very different aroma.
We can say that 'at first glance' it is easy to confuse dhania with parsley, but the taste is completely different.
Coriander is one of the oldest spices, it is even mentioned in the Bible in the book of Exodus and its use, both in cooking and medicine, dates back thousands of years, especially in the East. This aromatic herb belongs to the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family, like cumin, dill and fennel. It has a distinctive and marked scent and flavour, but not everyone agrees: some people like it and use it as a spice to add flavour to their dishes, while others find its taste unpleasant.
The term 'coriander' comes from the Greek Koris, which refers to a particular species of bug whose smell, according to some, is reminiscent of leaves; others liken the taste to that of soap or mould and, according to another theory, the cause of this intolerance to the aroma of leaves could be linked to certain olfactory receptor genes which are activated by chemical substances also found in soap.
Aside from its distinctive aroma, coriander has many beneficial properties, such as being rich in beta-carotene and vitamin K and having an antioxidant effect. In addition, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that coriander leaf extract helps control blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
Dhania is a popular ingredient in Swahili cuisine, often found as a flavour enhancer in many meat and fish dishes, but also in aromatic sauces or added to soups and salads.
As already mentioned, coriander can also be used in grains, either whole or dried and then ground. It can be found, for example, in the mixture of a popular spice, curry, and also in garam masala. In Italy, the seeds are used to flavour black pudding and mortadella. Also because coriander contains an antioxidant that prevents animal fats from going rancid, as well as substances that kill fungi and bacteria that spoil meat.
In short, we can conclude by saying that coriander is often present in preparations and recipes, just like parsley!
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