Coriander (Cilantro) paste is useful in so many cuisines – Greek, other Mediterranean, Indian, Vietnamese, Malaysian and other SE Asian dishes, to name a few. Sadly, it is difficult to keep fresh coriander in the kitchen for very long. One way to have that delicious flavour on hand at all times is to make coriander paste. For other ways, check out how to preserve fresh herbs.
This is a great paste for stirring into soups and broths, adding to Indian and S. E. Asian dishes – add a generous spoonful when frying off other ingredients – or adding to sauces.
Are you looking for other coriander recipes? Similar recipes include Zhoug, the Middle Eastern Coriander Paste and Dip, Coriander Pesto, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney. Also similar is an Apricot Chutney that can be made with dried apricots.
Or try these: Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Coriander and Lemongrass Vichyssoise, Pudla with Green Coriander, or Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Green Coriander. Coriander Fritters are pretty good too.
You might also like other Coriander dishes and other Coriander Pastes. Middle Eastern dishes are here. Perhaps also browse all of our Pastes – we have some good Chilli pastes indeed. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Summer recipes.
Some coriander pastes are used for marinating, others for dips or fresh chutneys, and others for preserving flavours to be added to dishes as you cook them, in place of the fresh herb when that is not at hand. This recipe is mainly used for the latter one
Coriander Paste with (or without) Garlic
This is the paste that I use the majority of the time. See below for variations.
Also note that some countries warn against storing garlic under oil. Please do your research before including garlic in this paste. It can be made without garlic, and see below for other variation, including incorporating chilli.
Take some garlic cloves, about half a whole head (optional), a bunch of cilantro with the bottom of the stems trimmed, a tspn of sea salt and a Tblspn of good olive oil. Blend all together in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender.
You can freeze this paste (in a zip lock bag makes for efficient storage, or in ice cube trays, then in zip lock bags) or place in a jar and top with more olive oil to cover in a thin layer, and store in the fridge. Remember that salt is the preservative in the puree, so don’t skimp on it if storing in the fridge.
I generally make this with about 4 bunches of coriander, and it lasts me for ages. I use the stems too, but if you prefer to remove them, that is Ok.
Ensure that you clean the coriander bunch well and discard the roots if you prefer. If you can clean them well, they can be included in the paste.
Coriander Paste with Chilli
A variation on this paste includes chillies and less (or no) garlic.
Take 400g of chillies, 4 garlic cloves (optional) and a tspn of grated ginger for 2 bunches of coriander leaves. Please read my note above about including garlic in these pastes.
Add the juice of 1 or 2 lemons, 10 Tblspns of olive oil and 2 tspns of sea salt. Blend until it forms a paste.
You can add to this 1 tspn ground coriander seed and one of cumin for variety of flavours. You can use less chillies, lemon juice and olive oil if you prefer.
Ensure that you clean the coriander bunch well and discard the roots if you prefer. If you can clean them well, they can be included in the paste too.
See the notes above for storage options.
A Coriander Pesto
The traditional pesto can be made with coriander, either leaving out the parmesan or using only a little so that it doesn’t overwhelm the gentler taste of the coriander. You can find a recipe for Coriander Pesto here.
Thai Coriander Paste
Add the taste of Thailand to your Coriander Paste
Chop and grind bunches of coriander along with Thai chillies, sea salt and lime juice. Add to stir fries or use to marinate vegetables and tofu.
Indian Coriander Paste/Chutney
This is a fresh chutney, best to use on the day it is made, or within a couple of days. Chop and grind bunches of coriander along with cumin seeds and peanuts or cashews to make chutneys which go well with fried snacks like samosas, vadas as well as dosa, idli and sandwiches. It is a little known fact that this paste can also be stirred into soups, sauces and dressings etc for added flavour.
Here is the recipe: Coriander and Coconut Chutney.
A Final Note
Always store coriander paste under refrigerated conditions or freeze in ziplock bags.
Have a Happy Day! Enjoy the little things in your life.