Ground coriander, or dhaniya powder as it is commonly known, is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine, providing flavor and aroma to a variety of dishes. Making your own coriander powder at home is not only simple and quick, but it also guarantees freshness and quality.
Also called dhaniya powder, it is a crucial powdered spice in Indian kitchens. This versatile spice is a key ingredient in many curry bases and spice blends. The distinct flavor profile makes it a great addition to not only savory dishes but also sweet treats when used judiciously.
This article covers:
- How to make, use, and store ground coriander.
- Tips on growing coriander plants in your backyard.
- Answers to some of the most common questions you may have about this versatile spice powder.
Name in Indian Languages
|English||Coriander powder or ground coriander|
|Hindi||Dhaniya powder (pronounced 'paudar')|
What are coriander seeds?
Coriander seeds are the dried whole seeds of the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum). The coriander plant is a herbaceous annual plant that belongs to the parsley family. The seeds are used as a spice in cooking and have a slightly sweet, citrusy flavor with a hint of spice.
These round light brown seeds are typically used whole or ground and are commonly used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine. Coriander seeds are often toasted to enhance their flavor and aroma before being used in cooking or as a seasoning in dishes like curries, stews, pickles, and soups.
How to make coriander powder
Making coriander powder involves two main steps: sun-drying or roasting the seeds and grinding them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Before starting, ensure the coriander seeds are cleaned to remove any stems, stones, or debris.
Roasting the seeds not only removes moisture but also enhances their aroma and flavor. For the best results, roast and grind a small batch of coriander seeds when needed to preserve the powder's freshness and flavor.
Sun-drying the coriander seeds: This is the ancient and traditional way and lets the coriander seeds dry naturally. Spread them on a wide plate or tray. Place them under the sun for one to two days until they are aromatic. Make sure you place the seeds in a clean and dry place and cover them loosely with a muslin cloth.
Roasting the coriander seeds: To roast, heat a thick bottom pan and roast the coriander seeds on low heat for 6-8 minutes. They will turn aromatic and get a slightly darker color. Turn off the heat and transfer them to a plate for cooling.
Grinding coriander seeds: Grind the seeds in a spice grinder or Indian mixie into a fine powder. Some recipes call for having the coriander ground coarsely, like kadai paneer. In such a case, you can also use a mortar pestle to grind it.
Recipes to try
I use coriander seeds in many home-style curries, along with other powdered spices like cumin and turmeric. Not only in final dishes, but coriander seeds are also an indispensable spice in several spice blends.
Here are some recipes to try:
Spice blends with coriander seeds:
Pick the stones, dried stem, or any dirt before roasting or sun-drying the coriander seeds.
Buy coriander seeds that are crisp and dry, with no signs of dullness.
Roast the coriander seeds on low heat as they tend to burn quickly. Keep stirring occasionally when roasting.
Once the seeds are roasted, transfer them to a wide plate or tray immediately for cooling. If you leave them in the pan, they will continue to roast because of the heat in the pan and may burn.
Make sure the coriander seeds are cooled completely before grinding. This will help get rid of any moisture that can spoil the powder quickly.
How to store ground coriander
For lasting freshness and flavor preservation of ground coriander, use an airtight glass or food-grade plastic container to shield it from moisture, light, and air. Store it in a cool, dry location away from heat and sunlight, such as a pantry or cupboard, and ensure the container remains sealed to prevent air exposure.
When using coriander powder, use a clean, dry spoon. To extend freshness further, freeze freshly made powder, where it can remain aromatic for up to a year without requiring defrosting. For larger batches, store some at room temperature and the rest in the freezer to maintain its flavor.
Coriander is the dried seed or fruit which is used as a spice and cilantro is the fresh leaves of the coriander plant that are used as a herb.
Coriander seeds are easily available in Indian stores outside India. They are also available in many supermarkets in the spice section. Many online stores sell them too. Coriander seeds can also be bought in stores that have Middle-Eastern and African products.
This spice has a distinct flavor and is difficult to replace. While it is difficult to substitute its pungent and earthy flavor, if you are unable to source coriander, use garam masala. Coriander powder is a part of garam masala and will add some amount of flavor.
No. They are both different spices and have very different taste profiles.
Again, no. The powdered spice is cooked well which adds taste and flavor to the dish. The leaves are used more like a garnish or as a herb to make chutney or masala base.
Yes. However, it is best to make a small batch if you are not roasting it as the coriander powder will lose its flavor and aroma quickly if not roasted.
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How to make coriander powder (Dhaniya Powder)
- 1 cup coriander seeds or as needed
- Clean the coriander seeds by picking any stores or dried stem.
Sun drying / Roasting
- To sun-dry, the coriander seeds, spread them on a wide plate or tray, and sun-dry for one to two days.
- Alternatively, dry roast the coriander seeds on low heat for 10-12 minutes until it is aromatic and slightly golden. Keep stirring occasionally. Let it cool completely before grinding.
- Once the roasted coriander seeds cool, add it to a spice grinder or Indian mixie
- Grind into a fine powder.
- Store in an airtight container.