I have a funny story for Cilantro. When I came from India, I was looking for Coriander leaves and couldn’t find them anywhere. There were these certain leaves that most certainly looked like Coriander leaves but they were called Cilantro. I even asked the store clerk but they had no idea what I was talking about. I started using those and after a while when I made a few friends I came to know that well, if they looked like Coriander leaves and smelled like Coriander leaves, they are Coriander leaves a/k/a Cilantro.
This herb is most used in Indian cooking. It is used for garnishing but also used to make some basic sauces.
The number of variations for the sauces are mind blowing. Some like to add roasted ground nuts, Some like to add soaked Cashews. Adding a handful of Mint leaves is the most common practice.
At the end, you could add a dash of lime juice to finish off or add a bit of yogurt to make it more creamy in texture.
- Cilantro/Coriander leaves 2 cups
- Cumin seeds 11/2 tsp
- Ghee/Canola oil 1/2 tsp
- Ginger grated 1/2 tsp
- Green Chili 1/2 ( or a dry red chili whole)
- Grated Coconut 2 Tbsp
Equipment: Blender/Food Processor
- Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems if you haven’t already. A little bit of stem is fine to leave as is but not a lot.
- Wash and set aside
- Grate Coconut
- Roast Cumin seeds for 3 to 4 minutes until fragrant and set aside
- Wash and de-seed the green chili. If you are using small chili from Indian market, it is likely very hot so use it sparingly. I also use disposable gloves when handling chili.
- Add Cilantro leaves, Coconut, Ginger, Green Chili, half the Cumin seeds, Sugar and Salt. If you are using Red Chili leave it whole and add to step 9.
- Blend until fine paste. Remove from the Blender.
- In another small sauce pan, heat ghee/oil on low to medium flame.
- Add Asafoetida, Red Chili and rest of the Cumin seeds.
- Let the Cumin crackle and immediately pour on the Cilantro leaves mixture.
- Mix well before serving.