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How to make Coriander Rice

Everything you need to know about coriander (dhania, cilantro… whatever you call it) this is the best way to enjoy it with rice.

How to make Coriander Rice

Poor old coriander has become one of the most divisive herbs in the land… truly the Marmite of the plant world. Some love it, some positively hate it. The latter has been known to blame their distaste for the Chinese parsley on genetics. While coriander lovers think their aversion is a load of rubbish, made up by fussy eaters.

Be that fact or fiction, this article is for the coriander fanatics. Written expressly for those who long for the herb’s unmistakable sage aroma, its fresh citrusy zest, and its peppery finish. And if you’ve stumbled in here by accident, why not check out some of our non-coriander rice recipes, right here? We’ve got something for everyone.

What is coriander rice?

Coriander rice is enjoyed everywhere. You might see it in a burrito bowl in Mexico; accompanying a fresh and fragrant curry in India; or as a hotter, chilli-infused meal in the Far East. It’s versatile, full of flavour and unmistakable in taste. In its most basic form, it’s basmati rice garnished with coriander, but there’s a lot more to the tasty side than those two core ingredients.

How to make coriander rice

Coriander rice can be served in a few different ways, depending on what kind of main dish it’s accompanying. But the main thing to consider is that it’s not as simple as sprinkling chopped leaves, or grinding seeds, on top of white rice.

For the best results, we’d recommend browning basmati in olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick pan. Introduce some garlic before adding your water and let all those delightful aromas out. After your rice has been simmering for 15 minutes in some water, stir in lime juice, some chopped coriander and some red chillies – if you like it hot. And if you’re looking for a bit of a shortcut, we sell ready-to-heat lime and coriander basmati rice by the bag.  

Where does coriander rice come from?

Although it’s tricky to pinpoint which nation decided to serve coriander with rice first, it’s generally understood to have started somewhere between Western Asia and Southern Europe, where coriander grows seasonally. Coriander is now harvested and enjoyed all over the world, from Mediterranean islands like Cyprus to landlocked North African countries like Ethiopia.

fresh coriander in a bowl

What meats and proteins can be added to coriander rice?

While coriander rice is brimming with flavour on its own, there are near limitless accompaniments that can go with it. If you’re a meat eater, you could think about a pork or chicken dish to add a bit more protein to your dinner. Or if you’re whipping up a vegetarian feast, consider the likes of avocado, broccoli, or cauliflower. And for a fruitier twist, put papaya, pineapple, and strawberries on your shopping list.

Coriander rice top tips

Our top tip for coriander rice is to consider the difference between the leaf and the seed. The seed offers quite a different taste to the leaf and is better suited as an ingredient that will be cooked as part of a larger dish, for a longer period.

Were you to grind (or sprinkle pre-crushed coriander – common in Indian dishes) over rice, you’ll experience a milder, more floral and lemony taste compared to the leaf. That said… it’s very much each to their own. The best thing about experimenting with dishes is figuring out what suits your personal taste.