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Is coriander dried cilantro seed? Has anyone used dried cilantro, and if so how does it compare to fresh cilantro. I assume fresh is better but please describe the difference (less pungent, etc...)

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4 Answers 4

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Coriander, the plant, is the one whose leaves are called cilantro in many regions - the Spanish name for the plant. Of course, in some regions, the leaves are called coriander (or coriander leaves) as well. Coriander, the spice, is indeed the dried fruit/seeds of the plant, commonly sold both whole and ground. The seeds have a very different flavor from the leaves.

As for dried cilantro, the leaves? They're going to be pretty much flavorless compared to fresh cilantro. Cilantro loses its aroma quickly when heated or dried. Obviously there's still something left, or you wouldn't be able to buy dried cilantro, but it's not going to be a striking addition to a dish. If you can get it fresh, it's worth it.

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Just to double check, because the web has various conflicting information, coriander the spice, is from both dried fruit and seeds of the plant but not the leaves. –  D W Nov 15 '10 at 8:15
    
@D W: Right, that's definitely what it means where I'm from. I think because the seeds actually have flavor when dried, while the leaves lose most of it, if anyone ever talks about a spice, they almost certainly mean the seeds. (Although for example I know people from New Zealand who call the fresh herb coriander as well, since that is the name of the plant, so they might well call the dried leaves coriander...) –  Jefromi Nov 15 '10 at 13:13
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You are better off just leaving cilantro out of a dish if all you have is dried. It bears no resemblance in flavor, texture or aroma to the fresh herb. Or substitute parsley - while also nowhere close, it at least contributes some "green" aroma. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Nov 15 '10 at 16:36
    
@Michael indeed! and this especially goes for salsa / pico. dried has a bitter presence in comparison. –  zanlok Dec 2 '10 at 23:28

These are the seeds:

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These are the leaves of the more common variety (there are many others):

alt text

While dried seeds are full of aroma and flavour, dried leaves are not.

BTW, it is VERY easy to grow cilantro (as parsley) in a pot, just use the seeds ...

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Instead of drying the cilantro, why not just plant the other half in good potting mix? You won't have to run to the store for fresh then. It grows quickly too!

I have both dry and fresh. The dry doesn't stack up. It has a much less pungent flavour. It's good in a pinch.

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Indoors, with plenty of light and water, the stuff is practically a weed. It stops growing much after flowering, so I've kept 2 eight inch pots going about a month apart. That yields an endless supply. –  Wayfaring Stranger Mar 2 at 17:09

I have heard to use twice the dried if the substituting for fresh in a recipe. Joy of Cooking has good substitutes listings including dried for fresh.

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This may be true for some herbs - ones that retain flavor when dried - but cilantro loses essentially everything when dried. You could put ten times as much in and it still wouldn't taste like cilantro. –  Jefromi Apr 24 '13 at 21:23

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