Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Series on food ; Coriander -8

Coriander or Dhaniya is much in demand in Indian kitchens both as a fresh herb and as a dried seed added to curries, preserves and chutneys in a powdered or semi crushed form. Panini in his seminal work on grammar (Ashtadhyayi dated presumably around 600 BC) calls it Dhanyak and Kusthumbhir. The current names Dhaniya ( Hindi) and Kothmir(Marathi) are rooted in the original Sanskrit. Dhaniya according to Indian medicinal thought has healing properties with a  hot Taseer (nature) and is used liberally in the special brew fed to a neo nate mother as Hareera made with jaggery , ghee, nuts and turmeric.
Coriander is native to the mediterranean and presumably travelled to India like Zeera ( cummin) with caravans that connected the nations along the fabled Silk route.
An interesting superstition among traditional vegetable growers in the north says that to grow a good crop of Dhaniya, the seed must be crushed with an old leather shoe !
(next, Buddhist Food )



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