Coriander also called cilantro is one of the great herbs. It is incredibly useful in so many areas. It can be added to your sour cream to add some spice, included with rice to make it a little more interesting, as part of a salad dressing, an extra ingredient in an excellent coleslaw, a garnish in a stir fry, as a flavor for oils, or as a topping for your favorite pasta. Coriander is an incredibly versatile herb. It splits opinion too. While many people love it there are a lot of people that absolutely hate it. Always make sure you check with your friends and family that they are happy with coriander before including it in a meal.
One thing that is fantastic about coriander is that it is incredibly easy to grow. You can have enough coriander to last you for a long time if you start to grow it yourself. Once you have the plant it is easy to freeze it and go to the freezer whenever you require it. However, drying coriander is easy too.
To dry coriander we must first get it wet. Wash your coriander in cool water and dab try with a paper towel. You should be thorough but gentle with the towel to ensure it is dried as best as possible but not damaged. Take a large bunch of the coriander and tie it together at the stem using a piece of twine. Hang the cilantro in a dry area of your home until all the water evaporates from the herb. We like to dry ours in the front hallway as it is always a fun talking point with guests.
Once it appears dry you should now hang the coriander upside down in a paper bag. Reuse your twine from earlier to seal the paper bag shut. Although you should cut a few holes into the bag to ensure the coriander can breathe. Hang the bag in the same place, ensuring that the room is dry but in direct sunlight.
You can feel free to check your herbs every second day to see if they are dry. While you might think it is dry straight away you need it to feel crisp in your hand with no moisture whatsoever, it should feel like it is about to crumble away. Any remaining moisture in the coriander will shorten its lifespan dramatically so really take your time in this drying process.
In the past, we have dried coriander, and depending on the time of year it has taken over two weeks to dry it properly. On average it takes between one and two weeks but the temperature in the room will cause that to vary significantly.
If that sounds like too much work then you can, of course, use a dehydrator instead. This will instantly dry your coriander leaving it ready to use. We prefer air drying as it seems like the natural approach and is, to be honest, a little bit fun. Once your coriander is dried you can expect it to last for around two years before it goes bad. This is roughly the same as if you freeze it with the only advantages of air drying being that it doesn’t enter your dishes frozen and that you can be sure you won’t have to deal with any issues down the line like freezer burn.
Once you have dried your coriander you can start to include it in all your favorite dishes. Some of the best cuisines in the world have a huge reliance on coriander. Of course, you should double-check that everyone in your family loves it as much as you do before you start putting it in every dish.