Did you know that coriander seeds come from cilantro plants?
This is one of my favorite plant facts to share with new gardeners because I almost always get a surprised reaction from them!
Actually, in some cultures cilantro is called “coriander,” so no surprise for them.
The pungent, earthy, musky cilantro herb is a staple in many Mexican, Asian, Caribbean and African dishes and a very easy plant to grow.
What is NOT easy to do, is to keep the cilantro plant from bolting into its seeding phase when temperatures rise!
Ironically, cilantro is the perfect accompaniment to summer-garden-fresh tomatoes for salsa, but cilantro is not a warm season herb!
Cilantro thrives in cool weather- think Springtime or Fall.
I let my cilantro hang out in the summer garden and dry in place so I can harvest the brown seeds.
At first, cilantro forms pretty white flowers with little fresh green seed pods.
After a few weeks of baking in the sun, the coriander seeds turn brown.
Time to harvest some seeds!
Cut the stems carefully and place them upside down in a brown paper bag.
Place the bag indoors for a few weeks in a cool room to dry naturally.
In a few weeks, shake your paper bag vigorously to displace seeds from the stems.
Get rid of the small stems and glean the dry, brown seeds.
You can toast your coriander seeds to deepen the flavor before grinding them.
Whether you use whole coriander seeds, or in powder form, the flavor will be stronger than commercial spices.
Store coriander seeds in your pantry and use within 6 months for best flavor!
Another option, plant the seeds and grow a cilantro plant in the Spring!