Coriander also called as Dhania in Hindi is obtained from the plant called Coriandum sativum. Dhania seeds have a rich and spicy aroma and are widely used in culinary preparations as well as in the preparations of several ayurvedic medicines. The use of coriander seeds is noted across the globe in almost all countries.
Coriander powder is obtained by roasting the dried coriander seeds gently and then milling them. The reason for roasting is to release the aroma and oils contained in these seeds. Coriander powder used as flavoring agent in cakes, sweet breads, sausages, stews and confectionary.
Dhania seeds are also used as a spice in Indian, Chinese, Pakistani, European and Middle-East culinary preparations. In North India, Dhania powder is widely used for spicing pickles, chutneys, stews, marinades, sausages and curries.
Dhania is endowed with several health benefits due to its rich content of anti-oxidants and other plant based chemical compounds noted for their disease preventing and health promoting characteristics.
The unique aroma of coriander powder and its healthy properties come from the several volatile oils like linalool, a-pinene, geraniol, camphene and terpine and fatty acids like petroselinic acid, linoleic acid (omega 6), oleic acid, and palmitic acid present in Dhania. These components give dhania seeds their digestive, carminative and anti-flatulent characteristics.
Coriander powder is rich in dietary fiber. For instance, just 100 grams of these seeds provide about 50 grams of fiber. Since a greater part of this fiber is metabolically insoluble and inert, dhania powder can help relieve constipation and ensure the regular bowel movement.
The dietary fibers present in dhania can bind the bile salts and prevent them from being reabsorbed by the colon. This can help in lowering the LDL cholesterol levels. Also, the fiber and flavonoid anti-oxidants in dhania powder can help safeguard the colon mucosa from cancer.
Dhania seeds store in them rich amounts of copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and potassium. Therefore you can depend on coriander powder for several health benefits like the production of red blood cells, cell metabolism, enhancement of sperm production, regulation of growth and development by stimulating the production of several enzymes, control of blood pressure and heart rate, production of anti-oxidant enzyme called as superoxide dismutase and many others.
Due to the widespread adulteration found in the coriander powder, it is advisable to buy whole dhania seeds and prepare the dhania powder at home. Best results are noted by milling them in hand mill. Since dhania powder is bound to lose its flavor quickly due to the evaporation of the essential oils, it is important to prepare the powder from the whole seeds from time to time when necessary without storing them in powdered form for a long time.
Used in moderate amounts, dhania seeds and powder are never found to bring any adverse effects on the health of people. In fact, they are highly safe for use by pregnant ladies and nursing mothers as well.