Tuesday, September 05, 2017

I Used To Hate Cilantro...

Do you like cilantro or coriander? Most people hate this herb because it is pungent. And most people mistake this herb for parsley.

The tiny sprouts of this herb are usually served as a garnish on top of steamed chicken, Cantonese-style. I never found out that this was cilantro until I asked my vegetable vendor in the market. 

When I was young, I hated the smell of coriander. It seemed too strong, too pungent. It smelled a bit like bugs. 

But then it seems our taste buds change as we grow older. 

I started to like coriander. There are times that I actually craved coriander. I'd go to the fridge and pull out a bunch and start eating them!

I believe I was lacking iron so my body told me to go get some iron! 

Coriander to me is the leaves of the herb. Another manifestation of coriander is coriander seeds or biji ketumbar (in Malay language) which you probably use if you cook curries or grind your own spices. 

I use ground coriander as a spice when I cook curries. The dried spice is a little different from the fresh herb. 

You can read all about coriander's benefits  but what I found most interesting is that coriander is a heavy metal detoxifier. It gets rid of mercury in your body. 

Another key benefit to cilantro is its ability to prevent hair loss and encourage hair to grow! (Which I like a lot as sometimes, I lose a lot of hair!) 

"Cilantro juice is a wonderful remedy for promoting new hair growth and combating hair loss as it contains essential vitamins and proteins which help in hair growth. You can make a paste from fresh cilantro leaves using few drops of water and extracting its juice. Apply this on your scalp for an hour before shampooing. This pack should be used twice a week for 2 to 3 weeks to get effective results. Alternatively, you can infuse your hair oil with a powder made from cilantro seeds while massaging your hair. You can also prepare a hair rinse by boiling a bunch of cilantro leaves in water and cooling it." - says this article. 

It's also high in iron which means women should really incorporate more cilantro in their diets.

So one of the easiest ways that I eat cilantro is to make a salad. This is my go-to salad for days when it's humid and hot and I don't have much of an appetite.

Do try out this salad and tell me how it goes.

Cilantro Salad

  • 1 ripe tomato, cubed 
  • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly
  • half an onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bird's eye chilli, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Juice from 5 ripe limes 

Mix all the above in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. It can be eaten on its own or served as a condiment with rice or taken with barbecued meats. It is excellent on its own but it also goes well with meats. 

If you have leftovers, make sure you drain out all the liquid from the salad before you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge otherwise your salad will be too soggy to eat. 

Bon appetit!

My cilantro salad that is great for a hot day! Perks up your appetite instantly.

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