If you frequently cook Indian food, you know how essential ground coriander (dhaniya) is. In this post, you’ll learn how to make coriander powder (a.k.a. dhaniya powder) at home, which results in a brighter, fresher flavor than store-bought spices. Level up your home cooking with this super simple recipe for homemade ground coriander!
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What is Coriander?
Coriander, also known as dhaniya or dhania in Hindi, is an annual herb that is related to parsley, carrots, and celery. The plant itself may sometimes be referred to as cilantro (especially in America), though the seeds of the plant are known as coriander.
The entire coriander plant is edible, including leaves, stems, and seeds. The scent of coriander is bright and citrusy, reminiscent of lemons and limes, with a warm, spicy, and citrusy flavor.
Dhaniya is widely used in many global cuisines – from Indian to Mexican foods, Thai to German, Russian and Central European. And it’s no wonder, either. Coriander is delightful!
What is Coriander Powder?
Coriander powder (called dhaniya powder in Hindi) is made from the roasted and ground seeds of the coriander plant. When the plant has passed its productive cycle, it bolts and creates small, round, light brown fruit or seeds.
These seeds are then either dried in the sun for a few days or pan-roasted until fragrant (I have included both methods below). The seeds are then blended in a spice grinder or a dry grinder jar to make coriander powder.
Health Benefits of Coriander
The leaves and stems of coriander have more nutritional power than the seeds, hosting relatively large amounts of vitamins and minerals. That said, the seeds are still a good source of fiber, as well as minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese.
In addition, coriander seeds have been associated with several positive health outcomes. These include lower blood sugar, improved heart health, reduced anxiety, healthy digestion, and slowed aging of the skin.
Why Make Homemade Spice Mixes?
You may have noticed that I have a fetish for making all things from scratch, and that includes homemade masalas and ground spices, too. If you’re considering jumping on the “from scratch” train, there are lots of reasons to do so:
First, homemade spice powders have a longer shelf life than their store-bought counterparts, which makes lots of sense. Whole spices keep more of their essential oils intact during shipping, meaning you’ll get more of the fragrant and delicious flavor of coriander if you grind it at home.
As a result, I make all of my own spice powders like cumin powder, Garam Masala Powder at home.
Second, and perhaps even more importantly, homemade spice powders are unadulterated with fillers. When I was a kid, my mom would tell me that readymade coriander powder is “supplemented” with horse dung. Turns out, she was right.
While reading on the web, I saw many articles on adulteration and was shocked to read that they add things like sawdust, horse dung to fill the ground spices. And buyers, beware: it is not only coriander powder that is adulterated but also red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and other spice powders!
Don’t you think it is so much better and cheaper to make everything from scratch, like this fragrant and delicious coriander powder made from freshly roasted coriander seeds?
How to Make Coriander Powder or Ground Coriander
This “recipe” is so simple, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with getting ground spices from the store in the first place.
Step 1: Prep. Pick through the coriander seeds to get rid of any stones or debris that may be lurking in the bag.
Take the amount you prefer. Small amounts like half to one cup are better. Do not make large quantities as the aroma wanes over a period of time and larger quantities will take many months to be used up.
Step 2, Option 1: Sun Dry. Spread the seeds on a large tray or plate and dry in the sun for 1 to 2 days. While sun-drying, place a splatter lid or a fine mesh lid, or a thin muslin on the plate/tray to keep away the dust.
Step 2, Option 2: Pan Roast. The other method is to roast the coriander seeds in a pan on low heat until they become fragrant, crisp, and with a slight color change. Be careful not to brown or burn them and stir them often while roasting. Cool to room temperature before proceeding.
Step 3: Grind. In a spice grinder or a mixer-grinder, make a fine powder of the coriander seeds.
Step 4: Storage. Store coriander powder or dhaniya powder in a clean and dry airtight container in a dry and cool place or keep the bottle in a fridge. For best results, use within 3 months.
How to Use Ground Coriander
Dhaniya powder or coriander powder is present in an overwhelming number of recipes on this site. You can use them in many Indian recipes together with cumin powder or garam masala or with a combination of aromatics and spices like onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies.
Always follow the recipe and use this ground spice as mentioned in the recipe. Do not add a lot of it as the flavor of that dish may get unbalanced.
This, my friends, is just the tip of the ice burg. Go ahead and make this homemade dhaniya powder – I can promise you’ll find LOTS of ways to use it, both on this blog and in many other cuisines!
Tips & Tricks For Homemade Ground Spices
Making homemade spice powders and masala blends is super easy, but there are two things you should keep in mind:
- Quality: Before you make any spice powder or a spice blend, always buy good quality spices. For making coriander powder, buy fresh coriander seeds of good quality, preferably organic and make sure they are in their shelf period. I don’t know about other countries, but in India one can actually whiff the spices before buying. So go ahead and give those seeds a good whiff before buying! If they smell bright and, well, coriander-y, you know they’re good to go.
- Roasting or Drying Spices: It is always better to roast or sun-dry spices before you make any spice mix with them. Roasting releases the essential oils from the spices and gives a more potent and brighter flavor. While both roasting or sun-drying removes any moisture from the spices and increases their shelf life.
- Storage: Store the coriander powder in an airtight container in a cool and dry place or keep in your refrigerator. It keeps well for about 6 months. Always remove the ground spice with a clean dry spoon and not a wet spoon. If any water goes into the spice mix, there is a chance of fungi or molds developing in it.
No! While both cumin and coriander are used with great frequency in Indian cooking, they are not the same. Coriander seeds are light brown and round with a pungent citrusy scent; cumin seeds are long and slender with a light brown color and a warm, earthy scent.
Technically, spices can stay in your cupboard for years without going “bad.” That said, they will lose their aromatic pungency the longer they sit. For the best flavor, I recommend using spices within 3 to 6 months of grinding. This is yet another reason to make your own spices at home! The store-bought stuff might’ve been on the shelf for 6 months before you even bring it home.
Coriander is considered a cooling spice, helping to detoxify the body and remove excess heat. As such, it is a perfect spice to add to your summer beverages!
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Coriander Powder | Ground Coriander
- 1 cup coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya) – 80 grams or you can use ½ cup
Prep coriander seeds
- Pick the coriander seeds to get rid of stones or any debris.
- Sun-drying method: Spread the seeds on a plate or tray. Cover the coriander seeds with a thin muslin or a splatter lid (lid with a fine mesh). Sun-dry in the sun for 1 to 2 days.
- Pan roasting method: The other method is to roast the coriander seeds in a frying pan or skillet till they become fragrant, crisp and with a slight color change. Stir frequently while roasting.
- Do not brown them or burn them. Transfer them to a plate or tray and cool at room temperature.
Make coriander powder
- Using a spice-grinder or mixer-grinder, make a fine powder of the coriander seeds. Let it cool completely.
- If your spice-grinder is not able to make a fine powder, then sift the coarsely ground powder with a sieve. Add the coarser bits collected on top of the seive back to the spice-grinder and grind again.
Storage and Uses
- Store coriander powder in a clean and dry airtight container in a dry and cool place or keep in the refrigerator. Use as needed in the recipe. This ground spice keeps well for 3 months.
- Always remove the coriander powder with a dry clean spoon. Do not use a wet spoon and make sure that no water goes into the jar. Presence of water or moisture can lead to the growth of mold or fungus in the coriander powder.
- Quality: Make this homemade coriander powder with fresh coriander seeds within their shelf life. Use the best quality and preferably organic coriander seeds. The seeds should have a good aroma. Make sure they are not infested with insects or mold.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This coriander powder post from the archives, originally published in April 2012 has been updated and republished on 14 December 2021.