Coriander, a member of the carrot family, is also sometimes referred to as Chinese Parsley or Cilantro. Coriander is actually the fruit [seeds] of the Coriander plant. Cilantro is the leaf of the coriander plant.
Coriander is probably one of the first spices used by human civilization, having been known as early as 5000 BC. The Romans spread coriander throughout Europe where it was widely used until the Renaissance, when exotic spices were introduced from the east. Coriander was one of the first spices to arrive with European settlers in America.
Coriander has a lemony citrus flavor when crushed or cracked. Coriander is described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavored. [By contrast, cilantro, the leaves of this same plant, has a fresh, grassy and lemony flavor.] Although cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, their flavors are very different; they cannot be substituted for each other.
Coriander is an essential curry ingredient. Coriander seeds are used in brewing Belgian wheat beers, and in dishes as diverse as Middle Eastern falafel, Italian sausage, English sugared comfits, and pickled vegetable recipes.
Use in soups, stews, stir-fries, pickling spices and with melted butter on fish and poultry meats. Coriander is a common ingredient in Indian spice blends [curry powder and garam masala] and is often used in Middle Eastern lamb and beef stews. Coriander is a delicious ingredient in curry, fish, ham, lamb, lentil, pork, stuffing, vegetable and turkey recipes. Toast coriander seeds in a dry pan briefly before adding to your recipe, to enhance and alter the aroma.