From the garden: coriander seeds

Before harvest

After harvest

Although cilantro (AKA coriander) is used as an herb to add flavor to many dishes, I never knew about the use of coriander seeds in cooking until I moved to Uganda and started experimenting with a few Indian dishes.  It turns out that coriander seed (which is usually crushed into a powder) is a great spice to add to many dishes, providing a warm citrus flavor. 

My cilantro plant kept wanting to flower and I could hardly keep up with it, so I decided to let it go and produce coriander seeds, which I will probably use more than the fresh cilantro anyway.  Today I harvested these seeds, which I will store until I want to use them in a dish.  Storing coriander seeds preserves much of its flavor rather than grinding it and storing it as a powder.  My favorite recipe using coriander power is this delicious coriander chicken/fish with mango salsa recipe. 

According to Wikipedia, coriander seed is also used in pickling vegetables, making rye bread, and in some Belgian wheat beers.  And I may just use it to spice some rum!  Coriander also has lots of health benefits, including preventing salmonella (which would have been nice to know 2 nights ago while I was suffering from something of the like) and in releasing insulin - helpful for those with type 2 diabetes.

I am definitely no gardening veteran, but I found growing and harvesting coriander seeds so easy and its something fun and new to experiment with in the kitchen.  Here are a few more recipes I want to try that use coriander seeds/powder:

Zucchini falafel  
Carrot and coriander soup
As a flavor for popcorn
Chicken tikka masala