Monday, June 18, 2012

Harvesting Coriander

Cilantro plant that has gone to seed.

 You may or may not know that Coriander is the dried seed obtained from a Cilantro plant. I was successful at growing cilantro in my garden this past fall and I was so excited. We love using cilantro in our cooking. It is especially good in fresh and canned salsa and other Mexican style dishes. Coriander can also be using in cooking in either the whole or ground form. Jacob loves Coriander and so we let our cilantro go to seed in hopes of harvesting a bunch for him. It actually had a bunch of beautiful little white flowers on it when it seeded that the bees loved.

The green seeds are the Coriander.

The little green seeds are the Coriander.  I left my cilantro plant in the ground until nearly all of the green coriander had turned a nice brown color and then I harvested it just like I did my dill seed.
Upside down in a paper bag for easier harvesting.

I simply cut it off and placed it upside down in a paper bag and then I let it dry for about a week longer in the bag. 
Brown seeds are dried coriander.

You can shake the bag and crunch it around a bit and remove a lot of seed, but some of it is still a little stubborn so we took most of it off by hand.
Removing the Coriander by hand.

I enlisted the help of my 4 year old. He is such a good sport to help his mom, especially when it comes to harvesting seed.

 After we pulled all of the seed off I used a couple of different sizes of colanders to remove as much of the leaves and stems as I could.

We were really able to get a lot of seed off of our plant, which makes us so happy. It was well worth the effort. This much coriander seed at the store would run you anywhere from $6 to $10.  Jacob is very excited and can't wait to make some Biltong with it. I am sure there will be a future post with photos of him hanging meat all over my house to dry.

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