Coriander or Dania (dhania) in Swahili is an herb that’s commonly used to flavor dishes in the coastal region especially in Malindi. It comes from the Coriandrum sativum plant. This plant is also known as Chinese parsley is used by many people in the world in dishes like soups and masalas within hotels and homes. Coriander leaves are often used whole, whereas the seeds are used dried or ground.
Its aroma is best described as warm, spicy, and nutty, with a hint of citrus. In foods, coriander is used as a culinary spice and to prevent food poisoning.
In manufacturing, coriander is used as a flavoring agent in medicines and tobacco and as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.
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Health benefits of using Coriander
- Coriander is full of antioxidants that demonstrate immune-boosting, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.
- Coriander may protect your heart by lowering blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. A spice-rich diet appears to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
- The antioxidants in coriander may reduce brain inflammation, improve memory, and reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Coriander may reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating and discomfort often experienced by people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It may also boost appetite among some people.
- Coriander exhibits antimicrobial effects that may help fight foodborne illnesses and pathogens like Salmonella.
- Coriander contains antioxidants that may protect your skin from aging and sun damage. It may also help treat mild skin rashes.
- Coriander seeds and leaves both come in handy for everyday cooking but offer very different flavors that determine their best uses.
What nutritional value does coriander (Dania or dhania) have?
Coriander or cilantro is a wonderful source of dietary fiber, manganese, iron, and magnesium as well. In addition, coriander leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin, and carotene.
Where to find Coriander within Malindi?
How is coriander (Dania or dhania ) cooked?
Mostly the leaves are used whole, mixed in the stews or curries. Notably, to avoid overcooking them, it is advisable to mix the parsley for 3 to five minutes before the end of the cooking process.
Biryani sauce and veggie filling are great recipes to try using coriander.