Is coriander a herb or spice?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Is coriander a herb or spice?” We will also discuss what it tastes like, how it differs as a herb and spice, and the difference between cilantro and parsley.

Is coriander a herb or spice?

Coriander is used as both a herb as well as a spice. Coriander powder and coriander seeds that are widely used as a spice in different cuisines, as well as the coriander leaves, also commonly known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, both come from the coriander plant.

What kind of spice is coriander?

Coriander comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum, a member of the parsley family. It is also commonly known by names such as Chinese parsley, dhaniya, or cilantro. The coriander powder or ground coriander is made from the dried seeds of the coriander plant. 

Many people might have confusion about coriander and cilantro. Usually, the term coriander is used for the spice while cilantro refers to the leaves. Both the seeds as well as the leaves are widely used in cooking all over the world. 

The coriander plant blossoms and produces small white flowers and clusters of tiny seeds. The seeds are harvested and used for spice while the leaves are mostly used for garnish.

How does coriander as a spice differ from coriander as a herb?

Unlike the difference between coriander powder and dried coriander seeds, the difference between cilantro and ground coriander is huge. Not only do they smell different but their flavors and uses are also completely different from one another.

If we’re talking about cilantro then the opinions are always divided. Many people hate its strong pungent aroma. Some even say it smells like soap. However, like I said the opinion is divided so the people who love it, love it anyway. 

You can use it as a garnish for a fresh and lemony aroma or you can cook it with the ingredients, it depends on you. Either way, the dish will have a slightly different aroma. 

In the case of coriander powder, it’s a widely used spice in different types of cuisines all over the world. Its mild and warm flavors and aroma make it a perfect choice of spice for any kind of recipe.

How is coriander used as a spice and herb?


  • You can use coriander powder in all your curries, pickles, soups, and gravies. It goes well in both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian recipes.
  • It is also used as an ingredient in baking cakes, bread, and pastries like gingerbread.
  • Coriander seeds are often used in marinades especially if you’re cooking fish or meat. The spices are absorbed perfectly after keeping them overnight.
  • Coriander powder also goes very well with mushrooms, tofu, and paneer.
  • Used to garnish meat as well as vegetable dishes.
  • You can use coriander powder to spice up even your bland vegetables like spinach. It adds a unique flavor to them.
  • Sprinkle over salads for that tangy flavor.


  • Cilantro leaves are mostly used for garnishing and dressing purposes. Its strong aroma not just adds flavor to your food but also makes it attractive.
  • They have been used as a remedy in Ayurveda since ancient times.
  • Cilantro juice promotes healthy weight loss. Find a recipe here.
  • It is also used as a home remedy for different digestive problems.

What does coriander taste like?

Coriander has a very nutty and lemony flavor and aroma. It adds a bit of that tangy flavor to your recipes. Its mild flavors add a unique taste to your recipes without overpowering the other spices. 

While cilantro has a flavor that is both complex and delicate, with hints of pepper, mint, and lemon, the flavor of coriander is sweet and aromatic, with a hint of citrus.

Are cilantro and parsley the same?

No, cilantro is not the same as parsley. They may be similar as both cilantro and parsley are commonly used herbs for different culinary and medicinal purposes, but they have their own unique and distinct characteristics that separate them from each other. 

At first glance, anyone could be confused between cilantro and parsley as the two leafy herbs could basically pass as twins. They have very close resemblance but you can easily tell them apart by having a closer look. 

They also have very distinct flavors. While parsley has a mild, herbal, and grassy flavor, coriander is well known for its extreme flavor. 

Cilantro is way more flavored than parsley. Both coriander and parsley leaves are used for garnishing. But, unlike cilantro, parsley retains most of its flavor when cooked.


In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Is coriander a herb or spice?” We will also discuss what it tastes like, how it differs as a herb and spice, and the difference between cilantro and parsley.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.