Coriander Vs. Cilantro

There is no real debate between these two food ingredients since both versions of the spice find themselves on common ground, being two major parts of the same plant, although carrying a distinct taste individually. How their flavors make them different, yet very much alike, is what you will learn.
Tastessence Staff
Cilantro is a herb that's been used in the Middle East, Asia as well as Latin America. Both cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, but are completely different when it comes to the way they look and of course taste, since they come from two opposite parts of the plant itself. The plant that these two spices come from, is called the coriandrum sativum, and is a very close relative of parsley. Ground coriander is the powdered form of coriander seeds (where even the seeds are kept intact when added to dishes sometimes), and cilantro has itself intact in the form of leaves.
What is the Difference Between Cilantro and Coriander?
To further get into this analysis, we break these two kinds up in the following tabulated form to help differentiate them apart.
Cilantro Coriander
Leaves of the plant Seeds of the plants
Used for seasoning, with a strong earthy flavor and smell. Seeds have a mild taste, that slightly lean towards a more lemony flavor.
Also known as Arab / Chinese parsley. This isn't referred to as anything close to parsley.
Strong flavor, and deep emerald-green in color. The stalks are used as an ingredient in cooking, because the flavor of this can add punch to a dish.
Always eaten and added to dishes in its leafy form (can be pureed for sauces / gravies and is most popularly used as a garnishing). Is eaten with foods in powdered form, especially when making meat or vegetable based gravies.
Called a herb. Called seeds.
Eaten fresh whenever used in cooking (chopped). Eaten in dried form, that can be stored for months on end.
Ivy Gourd Chutney with Cilantro and Coriander
We now look into a cilantro and coriander chutney recipe using two contradicting flavors to bring out one very delicious dish. This recipe was handed down to me by my mom, where I'll add a different spin to it by including some extra condiments to make it taste a little different from what I'm normally used to.
What You'll Need:
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup tamarind juice, 5 pepper corns
  • 3 green chilies (if you can't handle the spiciness, deseed them)
  • ½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup of curry leaves
  • 2 cups of chopped ivy gourd
  • ½ a cup of cilantro
  • Salt to taste
Method of Preparation:
When slicing up the ivy gourd make sure that if you spot any sort of red coloring on the inside of its flesh, to discard it and not mix it with the others. It has to be white on the inside and not red. After you've cut these up into thinly-sliced circles, keep them aside and begin roasting your spices. First start off with a nonstick pan placed on the burner (low heat). Wait for it to get slightly hot; hold you palm above the surface of the pan and if heat is emitted, that is your signal to drop in your ingredients. Just make sure it isn't scalding hot when you drop your spices into it. Once it reaches the appropriate temperature, dry roast your spices without the use of oil. Your cloves, roughly sliced garlic, cinnamon stick, pepper corns, coriander seeds and chilies go in, while you toss it around with a wooden spoon for about a minute (kept at low heat the entire time).
Once the aromas of the ingredients start to diffuse, you'll know that it's ready to be kept aside for later use. Take the same pan and drop in your ivy gourd and curry leaves, roasting these for a minute (before adding a tablespoon of oil) until they turn a deep golden brown, but not charred. Once that's over, transfer your pan's contents into a mixer, along with your roasted spices and then pour into this the tamarind juice. Blitz these together and wait for it to take on a mash-like appearance - pour this then into a bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves, and there you have it - a deeply spiced chutney preparation, with a smoky aroma and taste to awaken your taste buds. You can eat this with either pita / toasted bread as a spread.
The next time you decide to add one of the two into a dish, remember how the flavors can alter the main ingredients of your meal and then accordingly use them as you like.