18 May 2014

The Pulpy - Bubbly Tomato



Hi all. After a quite long time, here I'm back to post on TOMATO (Solanum lycopersicum) - one of my all time favorite ingredient. Lets have a look over its use, origination and its multi-purpose values here..Tomato the red pulpy fruit as well as vegetable is a species that was said to be originated from South America. But now it is quite commonly cultivated throughout the world. The word Tomato was derived from the Spanish word 'tomate' and it was said to be first appeared in 1595. The average weight of a Tomato was said to be 100 grams approx.



As per some statistics, India ranks second in the top production of tomatoes in the world. Tomatoes are said to be rich in Lycopene which has many health benefits. Lycopene is a pigment present in almost all red fruits/veggies. It is believed that there are nearly 7500 varieties of tomatoes available all over the world which includes Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Roma/Bangalore tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes etc.,

The Tomato plant can be grown at almost all seasons in India. The plant can withstand upto 27 degree Celsius but they can't withstand frost. But their peak season is said to be from June to September.



Tomato is one of the prominent ingredient used in the form of both as a veggie and a fruit. Tomatoes are available in different colors , sizes and flavors. It is one of plant which is mostly welcomed by kitchen gardeners, since it can be grown at any moderate temperature zones. Due to its high acidic content, tomatoes was said to be the most canned fruit or vegetable.

Astonishing health benefits of Tomato :

            ~* Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A, C and K. They are fat-free.
            ~* Just a single serving of tomatoes is said to give you 2 grams of fiber and they have rich water content.
            ~* Among all other fruits & vegetable, tomatoes were said to provide best ever protection against ihgh blood pressure, high cholesterol , heart diseases and strokes.
            ~* Tomatoes are widely used for protecting the skin and making it healthy. Beta-carotene enzyme present in tomatoes helps in protecting your skin against sun light damage and UV light damage.
            ~* The 'Lycopene' enzyme in tomatoes, helps in strengthening your bones.
            ~* Since tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, they are the best antioxidants and helps to fight against cancer.
            ~* Tomatoes which are rich in folic acid, helps against depression .
            ~* Tomatoes helps in digestion .
            ~* Due to its high acidic content, tomatoes helps in curing pimples, rough skin, oily skin and aches.
         
A single post is not enough to explain all of its benefits. Lets check more about tomatoes in upcoming posts.
Lets check out some tomato face masks that gives you a healthy skin ..



Tomato Face Masks

For sun damage: Take 1-2 fresh tomatoes and mash them to form a pulp. Add a tablespoon of curd along with some oatmeal. Apply this mixture on your face, leave it for 5 or 10 minute before washing it off with cold water. This face mask will not only cure your sun burnt skin but also make it glow.

Against acne: Mix mashed tomatoes with a tablespoon of lemon juice and apply it on your face. Leave it until it gets dry. It is a very effective face pack to obtain glowing skin, remove skin oiliness and get rid of acne.  Most of all it helps in curing premature aging signs.

For fairer skin: Add a tablespoon of sandalwood powder to a mixture of tomato juice and lemon juice. Blend it until it becomes a paste. Apply this mask on your face for at least fifteen minutes.
Face Mask Courtesy : lifestyle.yahoo.com

I hope this would have helped us. Besides the above values, there are much more beneficial & astounding facts behind this plant but we are aware of only few of them.

By then next, lets check out my mother's one of the best delicious recipe made out of tomato...!

Tomato chutney :

Ingredients :

Tomato - 10
Fenugreek seeds - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 2 pinch
Red chili powder - 2 & 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil - as per your need


Method :

Take a pan, fry the mustard and fenugreek seeds without oil. Let them cool for a while and grind them into powder using the mixer jar. Slice the tomatoes and grind them separately in mixer to make a puree. Now heat oil in a pan, add the tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Stir it well and let the puree to shrink until the raw smell of tomato vanishes. Then add this mustard-fenugreek powder to the gravy, cook it well and serve hot. Try out this delicious tomato chutney and share your comments.

 Finally after a series of hurdles, I had a chance to post it today. Hope it would reach many. Lets keep on spread the awareness on nature.

References :
Images Source : Internet 
Thanks for reading.
Have colorful and Blessed days ahead :)




04 October 2013

Saffron - An expensive spice that has enormous values


Crocus sativus commonly known as Saffron is one of the well known and expensive spice used widely around the world. Saffron is said to be derived from the stigma of the saffron plant. The Saffron plant belongs to the family of Iridaceae. This plant is native to many places around the world such as Central and Southwest Asia, Greece, Central and Southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the islands of the Aegean. Saffron is a perennial plant and it is believed to be originated about 3000 years back. The name Saffron is believed to be derived from the Latin word 'Safranum' and the plant is said to be cultivated first in Greece. Saffron is also called as 'Kesar' in Hindi and 'Kumkumapoo' in Tamil.

While searching about the history of this Saffron plant in India, I came to know that this plant was brought to India by Persians while they conquered Kashmir.

Saffron Flowers :
















Saffron is a perennial plant whose height ranges from 15 to 25 cm. It is mainly cultivated for its flowers and the spice derived from the stigma of the flowers. It consists of purple color flowers with red stigmas inside which is called as 'Saffron'. Each flower comprises three red stigmas and these stigmas are the female part of the flower. Even though it is a perennial plant, the flowering period of the plant is said to be from mid or late October to first / second week of November and it is also said that sometimes it might vary depending upon the temperature during the spring and autumn. The purple buds can be seen in the autumn and only in October it get sets to bloom. The Saffron plant gets well adapted to a cool dry climate with rich soil conditions. As per some analysis, researchers say that it requires about 70,000 to 2,50,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron.

As we have seen already, Saffron is nothing but the three stigmas inside the flower and it is used commercially only after the stigmas are dried properly. Some cultivators of Saffron say that a Saffron cannot be duplicated so easily as their original aroma and color shows off how fresh it is. The word Saffron is said to refer the color 'yellow'. The flower of the Saffron flower is believed to possess a sweet honey-like aroma which also has the taste of little bitterness.

Saffron threads :

















Images Courtesy : Internet

Cultivation of Saffron in India :

Kashmir is predominantly known for its Saffron cultivation. As we have seen earlier it is the Persians who are believed to have brought the Saffron plant to Kashmir. The Pampore town near Srinagar of Jammu and Kashmir is popularly known for its Saffron cultivation for about 2500 years !!!

Kashmir is considered one among the three prominent places of Saffron cultivation around the world. The Kashmir Saffron is believed and widely recommended by many legends for its innate quality. It is said that major part of the Saffron cultivated here are exported to many countries around the world. It is said that there are three grades of Saffron in India . They are Saffron Lachha, Saffron Mongra and Saffron Zarda. It is believed that the Saffrons of Kashmir has long deep red colored stigmas. The legends of Saffron cultivation says that the size of the stigmas determines the quality of it. Since Kashmir possess the rich alluvial soil, the saffrons grown here is said to have a magical aroma by its cultivators. Amidst all the Saffrons produced around the world, the Kashmir saffrons are always well known for its flavor, color power and its wonderful aroma. The Saffron cultivation is a boon for many cultivators because of its rich value . As per an article read in a popular newspaper, as on March 2013, it is estimated that the Saffron would approximately cost Rs. 2.5 lakh per kg.



Saffron at home


Uses of Saffron :

          ~*   Saffrons are mostly used for culinary purposes. It is believed that only a little amount of Saffron can be used and it is said to be more than enough for dishes. Consuming more than its normal level is not advisable.

            ~*  Saffrons are mostly used in culinary to add flavors, colors and taste to the food.

            ~* The kesari powder that are used for adding colors to the food is derived from the leftover bits of Saffron harvest. The kesari powder is obtained from leftover bits of Saffron and little turmeric added to it.

           ~*   The Kashmir saffrons were soaked in water to provide golden yellow color and it is used for fabric dye.
           
            ~*  Saffron is also used as perfume.

            ~*   Despite its culinary uses, it is also possess medicinal values. Saffrons are used to suppress cramps and are also said to be used for  anesthetic purposes.

            ~*  Saffrons are also used in herbal medicine for treating respiratory problems.

         ~* It is also used in the treatment of health disorders like asthma, paralysis, insomnia, heart diseases, hemorrhage, flatulence and gout.

            ~*  As per an article in Times of India, 'Saffron' has been named under the 'Eight Indian spices that prevents cancer'.  A natural carotenoid dicarboxylic acid called 'Crocetin' is identified to be the primary cancer fighting element of Saffron. It is believed that this 'Crocetin' acid not only prevents the progression of this disease but it also decreases the size of the tumor by half which helps to cure the cancer completely.  
I think the price of the Saffron doesn't matter when it does such a miracle to a person suffering from diseases like cancer.

Note : consult your physician before following the above points.

In Kashmir - the Kingdom of Saffron, no celebration is said to be complete without their traditional dish called 'Saffron Kehwa/ Kashmiri Kehwa'. Here I'm sharing about that beverage ,

Kashmiri Kehwa :

(Servings for 4)

Ingredients :
                                                                                       
Kashmiri Green Tea  - 4 teaspoons
Saffron threads        - 4  pinches
Cardamom               -  2 (crushed)
Almonds                  -  8 (blanched & chopped)
Cinnamon                -  1 stick
Cloves                     -  2
Sugar                      -  2 teaspoons                          
                                                         
                                                   

Method :

        Boil 3 cups of water along with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Then mix this with 4 teaspoons of green tea. Leave this mix to boil and infuse for a while in low flame. At the other end, dissolve Saffron in a little water by gently rubbing it . Now Once the tea is ready, strain it and add this Saffron liquid to it. Then garnish it with chopped almonds and serve hot.


References :

 kashmirkesarkingdom.com
 indianetzone.com  
 timesofindia
 Recipe Source : vegetalindia                         
               
          
Saffron cultivators in Kashmir says that not a single part of the plant is wasted. They say that after harvesting the Saffron in the late autumn, the petals of the flowers are used as vegetables and the stems are given to the animals. They consider the red stigmas - 'purest Kashmir Saffron' as 'The Golden herb'. Indeed it is a golden herb gifted by God with enormous values.


07 September 2013

VIBGYOR Series - 'R' for 'Red' - Strawberry Fruit


This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some
of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to 
the 7th of September. The colour theme for today's post is RED.

The color red is often said to symbolize love and energy. It is also related to excitement, passion, power, courage, aggressiveness, anger and prosperity. 

Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) or garden strawberry is believed to be a hybrid species which comes under the Rosaceae family. They grow successfully in the temperate climatic conditions. The wild strawberry comes under the same family. Only the garden strawberry is cultivated widely for its edible fruit. The strawberry fruit is not a true berry because this fruit is said to be an aggregate accessory fruit ( a fruit in which the pulp/flesh of the fruit is derived from the adjacent tissue exterior to the carpel and not from the ovary of the plant ).

The Strawberry fruit is well known for its sweetness, bright red-color, aroma and juicy appearance. It is said to be consumed in large quantities all over the world in the form of juices, flavored milk, cakes, ice creams, chocolates and pies. Strawberries are used either freshly or as preserves.

As we look into the history of this plant, it is said that the first garden strawberry was grown in France in the 18th century. Before this, only the wild strawberries were grown.




Strawberry cultivation in India :

         As I read in a site about the strawberry cultivation in India, it was said that the strawberry cultivation was not that much successful in India till 2010. It is said that the strawberry plants cannot be grown successfully in hot climatic conditions. Hence it is hard to grow them in tropical and sub-tropical climates like in India. But in today's technological world, even such an obstacle can be cleared. In 2010, three learning institutes of Bihar has tried cultivating Strawberries using their scientific and technological skills which worked out successfully. The three institutes are Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour (Bhagalpur District) , Tirhut College of Agriculture, Kholi (Muzaffarpur District) and Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa (Samastipur District). In that site they have mentioned that these three locations have produced about 300 kg of Strawberries (i.e. 661 pounds). Since the production of strawberries costs high, the Bihar Government is also said to have lend their support financially for this cultivation. With their support this group is said to have developed a safe laboratory for the production of Strawberries and other high value crops. This laboratory is called as polyhouse which allows to control the agricultural and climatic conditions. This polyhouse helps the production of Strawberry as it require cold conditions throughout the year.
Source of information : http://strawberryplants.org



Images Source : Internet


In India, Strawberries are well suited to the hilly areas and places with moderate temperature. Almost 80 percent of Strawberries are produced in Mahabaleswar, Satara district of Maharashtra. Mahabaleswar is also known as Strawberry capital of India. It is said that in 2010, 500 to 600 tonnes of Strawberries have been exported to UK and European countries from this place. The Indian Strawberry season is from November to March. Other than Mahabaleswar, Strawberries are grown commercially in places like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal, Bangalore, the Nilgiri hills and Delhi.

How to choose best Strawberries :

                     Look out for plumpy, tender, bright colored strawberries with leaves attached to it. Choose full ripe fruits which gives you the exact nutrients. Don't choose either under ripe or over ripe fruits.

Nutrition's that are naturally available in Strawberry :

                     Vitamin C, Fiber, Calcium, Potassium and magnesium.


Health benefits and medicinal values :

              ~*As per some facts shared on a site, one cup of Strawberries(approx. 10 fruits) are said to yield about 150 percent of Daily value (DV) of Vitamin C. It says that you can obtain more Vitamin C for just 50 calories.

              ~*They are also rich in fiber which gives us 3 grams DV in one cup.

              ~*One cup of Strawberries are said to have 240 mg( 7 percent DV) of Potassium and 10 percent DV of Folate.

              ~*Strawberries are said to be good for your bones and hormones.

              ~*As per the article in Times of India, the Strawberries can also cure inflammation-related arthritis and inflammation-related eye diseases. And most importantly it helps in vanishing your wrinkles.
           
              ~*Some researchers at Harvard's Brigham and Woman's Hospital, Boston have found that Strawberries can save you from memory loss or atleast postpone it for 2 to 2.5 years.

              ~*It helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases.

              ~*It helps in regulating blood sugar and also decreases the risk of type 2 Diabetes.

              ~*It helps in preventing certain types of cancer.

              ~*It possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

              ~*The entire strawberry plant is said to be used for treating depressive illness. Then I hope that it helps me ;)

Note : Consult your physician before following any of the points above.

Strawberry recipes for you :

1.Strawberry Banana smoothie :

Ingredients :
(for serving two persons)

Two bananas,
Ten  ounces of organic Strawberries (Stemmed and sliced),
One cup of milk,
Six ice cubes and
one tsp of honey

Method of preparation :

Chop the peeled banana into pieces and freeze it for two hours. Then add all other ingredients to the banana mix and blend it for a min or half a min either using blender or mixer. Blend it until it gets smooth. And your Strawberry banana smoothie is ready to serve now :)

Recipe courtesy  :  www.mnn.com (Mother Nature Network)

2. Strawberry velvet by Chef Sanjeev kapoor :

Ingredients :
(for serving four)                                              
                                                                           
Strawberry crush           - 1/2 cup,
Strawberries (chopped)  -  8,
Yogurt                          - 4 cups,
Vanilla Ice cream           -  4 scoops,
Ice cubes                      - 10 to 12

Method of preparation :

Blend the Strawberry crush, yogurt, vanilla ice cream and ice cubes using blender or mixer. Pour this mixture in serving glasses and keep it in refrigerator for a while only just before serving. Then garnigh it with chopped strawberries :)

Images Source : Internet 


References :

whfoods.org
bbcgoodfood.com
wikipedia
www.mnn.com
theindianvegan
freshplaza.com
strawberryplants.org


Ending up the VIBGYOR Series with a fruitful note. Thanks CBC for such a wonderful opportunity to blog on colors. It was a colorful week and I enjoyed this series personally.

Wishing you all the sweetness of Strawberry in your lives. Have Blessed and fruitful years ahead :)

06 September 2013

VIBGYOR Series - 'O' for 'Orange' - The Flame of the forest

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some
of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to 
the 7th of September. The colour theme for today's post is ORANGE.

The color orange is believed to emit warmth and happiness, stimulates enthusiasm and creativity and it is also said to be one of the healing color.

As we saw the golden shower tree in the previous post, here we gonna see yet another native tree of India which is popularly known as 'Flame of the forest'. As like the name describes the bright orange colored flowers of this tree looks like a flame of fire when seen in clusters. As like the Golden shower tree, this 'flame of the forest tree' has also been given a commemoration by the Indian Postal Department by issuing a postal stamp after it.


Nomenclature :

Botanical Name     :    Butea monosperma

Common Name     :    Flame of the forest / Palash / Dhak / Palah / Parrot tree /Keshu (Punjabi) /                                           Kesudo (Gujarati) / Modugu chettu (Andhra Pradesh) / Palas,Palashi (Bengali)

Tamil Name          :     Parasu / Porasum / Parasa

Hindi Name           :    Chichra tesu / Kankrei

Butea monosperma/ Flame of the forest is a tree that comes under the family of Fabaceae and it is native tree of India and Southeast Asia. They are also called as parrot tree. This tree is of 6 to 12 m height. This tree has irregular branches with gray bark. The flower of this tree are bright orange colored and said to be in full bloom from January to March. The flowers are said to have five petals that constitutes of either one standard wing or two smaller wings. The flower is also believed to have a curved keel (prow/bow-shaped pair of petals) and this is the reason why this tree is also called as the parrot tree due to its curved keel. It is said that this tree kills mosquitoes. As the vibrant color and smell of the flowers attracts them, they get caught in the fluid gum of this tree, so that they can't escape. It is also said that the eggs laid in this tree never gets hatched.


Flower of the 'Flame of the forest tree'















Images Source : Internet 

The leaves of this tree are dark green in color. This tree is also known as a sacred tree since the leaves has the trifoliate pattern. Ancient people believed that those three leaflets represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The flame of the forest tree is said to be associated with the spring season in West Bengal and it was associated by none other than the great poet Rabindranath Tagore in his poems. He felt that these bright orange color flowers of this trees resembles the fire.

Another interesting fact about this tree is, the infusion of flowers of this tree gives us a wonderful coloring substance which are said to be used in water-paint and for making dyes. In ancient days, it is believed to be used for making color for the Holi festival.

Health benefits, medicinal and other uses :

           ~*  I read somewhere in the web that a good charcoal can be obtained form this tree.

           ~* The gum from this tree is said to be a powerful astringent which are used for treating hemorrhage from stomach, diarrhea and dysentery.
                 
           ~* The bark of this tree is believed to possess astringent bitter and pungent properties.

           ~* It is used for curing tumors and ulcers.

           ~* It is used in the treatment of spleen disorders and digestive disorders.

           ~* The decoction is used for the treatment of cold, cough and fever.

           ~* Even the leaves of this tree is said to possess the astringent property as like the bark. They are used to cure boils and pimples.

           ~* The root part is used for treating elephantiasis, night blindness and for other eyesight defects.

           ~* The flower part is used in the treatment of leprosy and to reduce swellings.

           ~* The powder made from this flower is used for healing fractured bones and used for healthy bones.

            ~* Since the leaves of this tree are strong , they are also used as wrapping papers

Note : Strictly consult your physician before using it.

References :

http://www.worldagroforestry.org
http://www.indianetzone.com
http://www.flowersofindia.net
http://www.la-medicca.com


Hope these orange flowers would have brighten up your day ! Have a nice day :) 


05 September 2013

VIBGYOR Series - 'Y' for 'Yellow' - The Golden shower tree

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some
of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to 
the 7th of September. The colour theme for today's post is YELLOW.

Yellow is often related to original thought, optimistic, cheer, intellect and inquisitiveness.

Today my post for yellow is about a tree that can be seen around India which invites us with its vibrant yellow color flowers and it is 'The golden shower tree'.

Cassia fistula aka Golden shower tree is a plant that comes under the family of Fabaceae. This tree is native to India and it is the state flower of Kerala. Outside India, this tree is a national tree of Thailand and its flower is a national flower of Thailand. This tree comes under the category of ornamental plants. The Golden shower tree can be widely seen in the regions of Southeast Asia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka. It is said to be a semi-deciduous(shedding leaves annually) tree. The flowers of this tree were used in rituals during the Vishu festival especially in Kerala and in other parts of India. And another notable feature of this tree is , the Indian Postal Department have issued a postal stamp to commemorate this tree. The Laburnum road in Mumbai is said to be named after this tree.





The Indian postal stamp
featuring Golden shower tree



















Images Source : Internet


Nomenclature :

Botanical Name :  Cassia fistula

Common Name :  Golden shower tree  / Indian laburnum

Tamil Name      :  Konrai ( கொன்றை)

Hindi Name       :  Amaltas / Bendra lathi/ dhanbaher / girimaloah

English Name    :  Golden shower cassia



Image Source : Internet

The Golden shower tree is said to be in a height of 10 to 20 meters. The flowers are yellow in color. The flowers are set to bloom from the late spring season upto summer. It is said that the tree can withstand high temperature and it is a drought-tolerant tree. It can be grown at any well-drained soil and it was said that they are also slightly salt tolerant. Flowers can be found in abundance in this tree and sometimes they also hide the presence of leaves with its flowers. The whole tree is believed to grow well at adverse situations. To outshine well in adverse conditions is one of the best feature of this tree and it shows us how well we can manage our life during  adverse situations in our life. It helps us to grow personally :) As I read somewhere in the web, it is said that the flowers bloom more when there is more heat and direct sunlight. Since this tree is well adapted to dry conditions, it is said that they can be damaged during cold conditions. The stalks of the tree which is said to be upto 30 cm in length holds the dark green leaves and bright yellow flowers in clusters. The flowers of this tree are seen like hanging downwards. These bright flowers attracts bees, butterflies and insects.


The fruits of this tree are dark-brown pods which comes under legume (leguminous plant that has long seed pod) category. They have many seeds in it. It is said that even after the pod gets dried, the seeds are not dispersed naturally. Instead, as per researchers perspective, the seeds were believed to be dispersed by some animals like bear and jackals in the forest which feeds on the fruits of this tree.

Medicinal values and health benefits :

               * The pulp of this fruit is used as a laxative and the bark is used for treating skin infections.

               * It is believed that it is also used for relieving asthma, heart related diseases and fever.

               * In Ayurveda medical system, this tree is called as 'aragvadha' which means 'disease killer'.

               * The fruit is said to be rich in vitamin K. It is a good source of iron and manganese.

               * The root of this tree is said to be used in the treatment of cold and cough.

               * The bark of the tree helps in cleansing the blood and is used to eradicate inflammations.
             
Sources of information :

ayurvedicnaturalhomeremedies.com
wikipedia
rajanjolly.hubpages.com


 
Since these bright yellow flowers are just lifting up the energies, it would be a delight to see such trees on the streets of our country. This tree not just provide beauty to the place it is planted, but also provides some valuable uses.


04 September 2013

VIBGYOR Series - 'G' for 'Green' - The Coriander plant


This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some
of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to 
the 7th of September. The colour theme for today's post is GREEN

Whenever I come across the word 'Green' , I could only imagine about our beautiful mother Nature. The greeny environment just comes in a flash before me. But today I'm not sure how much greeny is our surroundings. In between the years there was a gradual decline in the number of trees in our environment and also the habit having gardens in houses had faced a decline. But in just the past two years the situation has improved inch by inch by many nature enthusiasts and by some of the organisations and I wish it continues to improve more. Since I have already posted about the awareness on tree plantation, importance of trees in the Universe and Kitchen gardening in this blog, here I would like to share about a plant that I like personally and which takes part in our daily cooking. It is none other than Coriander.

Coriander is an annual herb which comes under the family Apiaceae. Its botanical name is Coriandrum sativum and it is known as one of the world's oldest spice which is said to be originated back to 5000 B.C. It is native to South Europe, Asia and North Africa. It is also called as Cilantro (Spanish word) or Chinese parsley. In India, it is called as 'dhania' in Hindi language. The coriander plants are generally soft plants and they are 50 cm tall. Since it is a tropical crop, they prefer a frost-free climate during flowering and the formation of seeds. All parts of the plant are edible. The seeds and leaves are used as common flavoring agents in cooking.

Coriander comes not only under a herb, but also under the spice category. The coriander leaves goes under the herb category whereas the coriander seeds goes under the spice category. The leaf portion is often referred to as cilantro and seeds were said to be referred as coriander in some countries. But the entire plant is called as 'Coriander'.




Cultivation of coriander plant :

                  In India, Coriander plant is cultivated in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They are generally cultivated in loamy(clay and sand with humus) soils since they are not tolerant to alkaline and saline soils. It is an irrigated crop.

Nutritive value : Carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamin A and vitamin C, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, folic-acid, beta carotene,

Medicinal values and health benefits :

                ~* It is considered to be a potential medicine for anxiety and insomnia.
                ~* It lowers blood sugar levels.
                ~* It is said it helps in cleansing the kidneys.
                ~* This plant is a great source of fiber, iron and magnesium.
                ~* The mixture of coriander juice and turmeric is said to be used as a toner for skin and it is used in the treatment of acne (a skin condition marked with red pimples).
                ~* Both the coriander leaves and seeds is said to contain antioxidants which avoids spoilage of foods.
                ~* It is said that they possess anti-inflammatory property.
                ~* It is used to treat type 2 diabetics as per some research done with mice.
                ~* Coriander leaves provides relief for indigestion problems.
                ~* It is said that these coriander leaves helps to reduce nausea and it is also used to promote healthy liver function.
                ~* Coriander is said to have pain relieving properties which helps in reducing headache, muscle pain and arthritis.

Coriander chutney for sandwich/ salads / side-dishes :

                 Grind 1 cup of coriander leaves along with 2 or 3 green chillies, 1/2 inch of ginger and add salt of your taste. Then add 1 or 2 tsp of lime juice to it(optional).  Finally fry some mustard and cumin seeds in oil separately and add it to the chutney if you serve it as a side-dish. In case of sandwich you can avoid it. This chutney would be awesome with sandwiches.



Images Source : Internet 

Apart from chutney, there is lot of dished that can be done with coriander's such as coriander rice, coriander

Coriander can be easily grown in your kitchen garden . Make use of this wonderful herb that God has gifted us :)