How is coriander used in cooking?

This brief guide will address the query, “How is coriander used in cooking?” We will also discuss the different ways coriander powder, coriander seeds, and cilantro are used while cooking as well as some common recipes that use coriander.

How is coriander used in cooking?

Both coriander seeds and ground coriander are used as spices in varieties of dishes. Since it goes well with other common spices like cumin and turmeric, it is used in almost every recipe. 

Coriander seeds just like many other spices are used at the beginning of cooking or with marinades to let the flavors absorb. On the other hand, coriander powder can be used at any time during the cooking process. Likewise, cilantro is mostly used for garnish.

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.

What are the different ways of using coriander in your kitchen?

Here’s how you can use coriander to spice up your recipes:

  • 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.

How can we use coriander powder, coriander seeds, and cilantro while cooking?

Despite being the product of the same plant, coriander seeds, coriander powder, and cilantro have their unique flavors and purpose. Likewise, they also differ in the way they are used while cooking. Let us see how each of them is individually used while cooking.

Coriander powder

Coriander powder is finely ground dried coriander seeds. Many people might have a misconception that since it’s a grounded version of coriander seeds, the flavors are obviously the same, but not only do they have different flavors but they are also used differently while cooking. 

Coriander powder is usually used in many different savory dishes since it works well in curries, soups, seasoning for meat and chicken, gravies, and various other dishes. It can be added at any time during the cooking process but adding it when the food is almost cooked keeps the flavor and aroma just right.

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds are the dried seeds from the coriander plant. You should temper the coriander seeds in warm oil at the very beginning of the cooking process to flavor the oil before adding other ingredients. 

This way, all the flavors can be easily absorbed by the ingredients. The whole seeds can also be crushed, or you can make a paste out of it to use in marinades and dressings.


The leaves of the coriander plant are most commonly known as cilantro throughout the world. It may also be called Chinese parsley or dhaniya. 

Coriander powder and coriander seeds may come close in terms of their flavors if not the same, but cilantro is completely different both in terms of its taste as well as its aroma. 

The fresh cilantro leaves have a very strong and unique taste and scent, so strong that some people absolutely hate it. However, most people love the unique flavors it brings to the table. 

Cilantro leaves are mostly used as a garnish so you may or may not add it to your dishes according to your preference.

What are the common recipes that use coriander?

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that all forms of coriander are widely used in different recipes across the world. Some of the common uses of coriander in recipes are as follows:

Chicken tikka masala

It’s an Indian dish made with chicken in a thick tomato gravy with a blend of different Indian spices including coriander powder. Coriander, garam masala, chili powder, and turmeric are commonly used spices in this recipe.

Vegetable soup with mushrooms

It’s made with a perfect blend of different vegetables, mushrooms, coriander powder, and cilantro. The vegetables are seasoned with spices, sautéed until soft, and then cooked until tender with stock.

Chinese stir-fried dishes

Coriander in this Chinese dish tempers the intensity of chili peppers and improves the flavor profile of fried meats.

For more detailed recipes for coriander, please follow the link here.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “How is coriander used in cooking?” We have also discussed the different ways coriander powder, coriander seeds, and cilantro are used while cooking as well as some common recipes that use coriander.