Coriander is an interesting spice, because it is a very essential spice particularly in spice blends and an essential in the spice closet, but it tends to be more of what I like to think of as a complementary spice. In my Indian spice closet, the spice functions as cumin’s side kick. The slight sweetness of the coriander makes a good balance with cumin’s slightly rougher and smoky taste. While coriander is the seed of the cilantro, I often do not think of them together since they tend to have very distinct and different uses, although my nine year old does reder to it and Cilantro seed.
The seeds are native to Southern Europe and North Africa. Coriander is used commonly in a lot of pickles particularly of the western variety. To find a good recipe, where I could show case this spice in a more solo capacity, I remembered a spice rub that I make quite frequently. It make a great gift as I feel that it is flavorful without being too spicy. I recently made a batch for my friend JZ, when I was visiting, but forgot to give it to her, so I ended up with and extra batch myself.
With grilling season coming up, I think you will find this handy, it works well on meats such as pork and especially well on fish, which is what I tend to use it for. This rub actually uses dried powdered mint, which is unusual for me, but while I would never do dried cilantro, I actually use a lot of dried fenugreek leaves and if the occasion merits I work with dried mint.
Coriander, Mint and Coconut Rub
Prep/Cook Time: 10 minutes
1/3 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup red pepper flakes
1/3 cup dried sweetened coconut
1/4 cup powdered mint
1 tablespoon salt
Method of Preparation
1. Toast the coriander lightly until it is fragrant.
2. Place in a spice or coffee grinder and with the red pepper flakes and grind until smooth.
3. Add in the coconut and pulse a few times.
4. Place the spices in a mixing bowl and mix in with the mint and salt.
5. Cool throughly and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months in a cool dry place.
Rinku Bhattacharya is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester, where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply
of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes a great way to teach and learn.