Dried Cilantro (pronounced "see-laan-tro"), Coriandrum sativum, is also called dried cilantro leaves, dry cilantro, or dried coriander leaves.
Dried Cilantro has an essential oil content of between .1% and .2%.
What is Dried Cilantro
Cilantro is the leaves of the Coriander plant and is a key herb in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cuisines. Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander. The fruit of the plant (most often referred to as seeds) is best known as Coriander Seeds or simply Coriander.
Cilantro is one of those spices and herbs that is either a "love it" or "hate it". If you are in the “love it” camp - you find it to be a fragrant mix of citrus and parsley. If you are in the “hate it” camp your reaction would likely be similar to the legendary Julia Child, the renowned American chef, author and television personality. She told Larry King in a 2002 CNN interview when he asked her what she would do if she found it on a dish that she ordered at a restaurant -- would she eat it? And as only Child could say "Never, I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor".
To those that hate Cilantro the flavor comes across as bitter or soapy which is how their taste buds process Cilantro's essential oils.
History of Cilantro
Native to the region that is modern day Greece, cilantro has been used as a culinary herb since at least 5,000 BC. It's mentioned in Sanskrit text and the Bible. Cilantro was introduced into Mexico and Peru by the Spanish conquistadors where it now commonly partnered with the various chiles found in the local cuisine. Cilantro has also become a fixture in the Western and the Southwestern regions of the United States.
The anthropologist Helen Leach, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, has extensively researched food, eating, cooking, associated equipment and paraphernalia. Her initial training was in archaeology and her interests range from prehistoric horticulture and the evolution of human diet to the history of cooking and the origins of recipes. She has been somewhat fascinated with cilantro and the strong opinions people have towards it. She was mostly interested to see if it had always been despised or if there was something more to it. She finds that in English garden books and French farming books from the beginning of the 17th century there seemed to be a pretty dramatic shift in attitude about cilantro. During this time period in Europe medieval dishes (of which cilantro was quite commonly found in) were falling out of favor as the more sophisticated Europeans were looking for new flavors and looked down on older flavors.
The herb was one of the first (along with dandelions) to be brought to the Americas from Europe. Cilantro was grown in many places, including the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the mid-1600s.
A fast growing annual, the Coriander plant reaches a height of 12 - 36". The entire plant including the leaves, seeds and roots are all edible. While the same plant produces both the seed and the leaves it can only be grown for one or the other as once the leaves are picked the plant can not bear fruit. As the leaves get larger and older, they develop a stronger flavor and are not as desirable for culinary purposes.
The Coriander plant grows wild in Southeast Europe and is also commercially harvested in China, Egypt, India and the United States.
Where is Our Dried Cilantro From
What does Dried Cilantro Taste Like
A refreshing, anise-like, piney flavor with hints of lemon, mint and pepper.
Dried Cilantro vs Fresh
Dried Cilantro does not have the same flavor profile as fresh Cilantro as this is one of the herbs that loses much of its flavor when it's dried.
What is Dried Cilantro Used for in Cooking
Discerning cooks typically prefer to use fresh cilantro but often your recipe only calls for just a little bit and of course the grocery stores won't sell you "just a pinch". Keeping some dried cilantro on hand for emergencies (or when your store bought cilantro goes bad way too fast) is not a bad idea.
Cilantro is used both to add flavor and color to a dish especially in the cuisines of North Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, India, Mexico, the Middle East and the US (mostly in Tex-Mex).
In Egypt it is added to bissara (a bean puree). In India cilantro is sauteed with mint and added to chutneys or used as a garnish (like we use parsley in this country) for dips or snacks (especially bhel puris). In North India it is a key ingredient in the seasoning blend Chat Masala. In Malaysia, Cilantro is often blended with green chiles, spearmint and other spices to make kormas that are paired with bread or rice. In Morocco, it is added to tagines, soups (harira) and snacks (including bisteeya and falafel). In Thai cuisine Cilantro's herbaceous character is used as commonly as Thai Basil, Makrut Lime Leaves and Lemongrass and any or all of these may be used to create curry pastes so prevalent to the region. Like Parsley, Cilantro is often sprinkled on the top of cooked dishes, curries, sauces, soups and stews.
We like cilantro best in Mexican dishes -- add it to bean dips, salsas, soups or mix it in with low fat sour cream and use it as a topping for burritos, chili, enchiladas or tacos.
Some of our favorite recipes using dried cilantro are Grilled Salmon Tacos, Roasted Salsa Verde, and Harissa Couscous.
Cilantro works well in combination with avocado, bell peppers, chicken, corn, couscous, fish, ice cream (yes ice cream), lamb, mayo, nuts, pork, rice, shellfish, sour cream, tomatoes, tortillas and yogurt.
Cilantro pairs well with chile peppers, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, lemons, limes and onions.
Can you Use Dried Cilantro in Place of Fresh?
If you do need to use dried cilantro in place of fresh a good general rule of thumb is 1:2. 2 tablespoons of dried cilantro for every 1/4 cup (which equals 4 tablespoons) fresh cilantro.
|Also Called||Dried cilantro leaves, dry cilantro, or dried coriander leaves|
|Recommended Uses||Used in bean dips or purees, bread, chutneys, rice, salsa, soups and tagines.|
|Flavor Profile||A refreshing, anise-like, piney flavor with hints of lemon, mint and pepper.|
|Oil Content||.1%-.2% volatile oil by weight|
|Botanical Name||Coriandrum sativum|
|Cuisine||African, Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||6-12 months|
|Country of Origin||Egypt|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*