What Is Cilantro? How To Use It?

 Question:

What is cilantro? How to use it?

Answer:

Cilantro is a culinary herb. It is the Spanish name for coriander a plant of little beauty and simplest culture, is a healthy annual herb of the natural order Umbellifer√¶. The popular name originated from the generic, which comes from the ancient Greek word koris, a kind of bug, in allusion to the disagreeable odour of the foliage and other green parts. The distinct name refers to its cultivation in gardens. Accordingly, the scientific name declares it to be the cultivated buggy-smelling plant. 

Cilantro has been cultivated from such ancient times that its land of the nativity is unspecified, though it is implied to be a native of southern Europe and China. It has been used in cookery and of course, too, in medicine; for, according to ancient reasoning, anything with so noticeable and pleasant an odour must inevitably possess powerful remedial or preventive characteristics! 

Now a day the simple superfood culinary herb that anyone can grow in their kitchen garden. The plant's heights grow up to 2 to 2-1/2 feet long. Toward their ridges, they assume many halved leaves, with straight segments and umbels of small whitish flowers, followed by pairs of united, hemispherical, brownish-yellow, deeply furrowed seeds, about the small size of sweet pea seed. The seeds don't have the same odour as the plant but have a relatively agreeable smell and a moderately warm, pungent taste. 

Only the seed is of commercial importance. It is used largely as an ingredient in curry powder and other spices in cuisines around the world including  India,  Thailand, China, Mexican, and Eastern Europe.  

Cilantro is a fragrant, antioxidant herb that not only has many culinary uses but also has many health benefits such as lower blood sugar, fighting infections, promoting heart, and brain, and nourishing skin, hair and digestive health.

We can use cilantro in our kitchen in the following ways

1. Make a cool chutney

A chutney is a great way to preserve a big bunch of cilantro for future use. This cilantro mint chutney would be good to prepare so many dishes.

2. Spice up your sour cream

Diced cilantro can be stirred in with sour cream and then used in chilli, soups and stews.

3. Rav up your rice

You can crush cilantro and toss it into your tomato rice, and lime rice for extra flavour. Stir diced cilantro to generate an aromatic flavouring for your rice dishes.

4. Give salad dressing 

Add diced cilantro to your salad dressings for an addition of a little spice. It pairs very well with vinaigrettes and citrus-flavoured gravies.

5. Produce a quick coleslaw

Mix vegetables, a little oil,  salt and pepper along with fresh grated cilantro to create a special and refreshing coleslaw. 

6. Add flavour to your stir-fry 

 Toss a little bit of minced cilantro into your next stir-fry to give it an extra spice of flavour. Put in it towards the end of cooking to give your stir-fry a delicious flavour.

7. Spice up  salads

With a sprinkling of crushed cilantro into your chat salads, fruit salads, or raw green salads for some truly unique flavour, you would not be prepared to get enough of it.

8. Aromatize your cooking oil

Put cilantro stems in an oil bottle and let them sit to make fragrant the oil with that great cilantro flavour. Use the oil on your meat dishes, pasta dishes, or salads for more flavour.

9. Produce your green sauce

The green sauce is best for backing and marinating meat dishes.

10. Spice up your salsa

A little bit of cilantro can add a ton of flavour to tomato or mango salsa.

11. Add more green to your smoothie

To prepare a green smoothie you can add spinach, mint, green chilli, lime juice, and cilantro and blend it to enjoy your green smoothie.

Though cilantro gives us so many health benefits and a pop of freshness to almost all dishes, it has resulted in numerous health issues if you take in an excess amount. According to medical reports, the consumption of 200ml cilantro extract for one long week can cause extreme gas formation, stomach pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting and even loose motion.

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