Ayurvedic Superfoods: Coriander

One of the things my ammamma (grandmother) told me in my first trimester was to soak a tsp of raw coriander seeds in a cup of water at night and drink that water on an empty stomach the first thing in the morning. This will keep your uterus cool is what she told me then. And this is just one of the tips from the ancient science of Ayurveda that she passed on to me, over a period of time.

Ever since I have had my kitchen, I always stock all forms of coriander- the fresh leaves, the seeds and the coriander powder that I make after lightly roasting the seeds. Like most Indian homes, I use coriander (particularly the seeds and its powder) profusely in my cooking. Coriander is used quite extensively in Indian masalas and this enhances the taste and is very cooling for the digestive system. In Fact this mild and aromatic spice is an important curry ingredient that balances other hot spices. Coriander leaves are similar to the American cilantro used for garnishing, making fresh chutneys and also goes into making curries and rice dishes like pulaos and biryanis.

Coriander is loaded with highly medical properties and is revered in Ayurveda for its tridoshic properties that balances all the doshas and is used in many preparations. Coriander seeds are an important part of the CCF tea made from equal portions of coriander, cumin and fennel (a tsp of each boiled in a cups of water and strained) that is an excellent digestive. Coriander seeds are also an important part of kashaya or herbal tea preparations.

In the Bhojana Kutuhalam, an ancient Ayurvedic text, I came across a cooling drink made with crushed coriander, sugar syrup and camphor. This was stored in an earthen pot in the days of yore, to cool pitta or heat. Just imagining this is quite comforting for me and I would surely like to try this drink sometime in the future. 


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