Coriander Pesto

by Sandhya Hariharan @sandhyaskitchen

I am huge fan of coriander, and they add fantastic flavours to the dishes. Coriander seeds and fresh coriander both come handy in everyday cooking and are used differently.

Coriander seeds have earthy flavours whereas the fresh leaves have citrus-like taste. If I were to have only one herb in my garden, it would be coriander. 

Coriander is my favourite herb for many reasons, it enhances the flavours of the dishes and works great as garnish.

Apart from culinary uses, it has many health benefits too - helps lower blood sugar, fights infections and promotes digestive health.

Here’s a recipe for Coriander Pesto that you can use in your Vegetable traybake, Chicken dishes and in Pasta.

Add one bird’s eye green chilli while making this pesto and they make a delicious dip for your samosa and pakoras too.

Coriander Pesto recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 2 Cup coriander
  • 2 Garlic clove
  • 10-12 cashew nuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon



  1. Add the coriander, garlic, nuts, salt and water to a blender jar and process smooth.
  2. Add olive oil and lemon juice and blend again.
  3. Store the coriander pesto in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Grow your own Coriander in your herb garden.

Scatter the coriander seeds (the ones you are using for cooking) thinly in containers or in the ground. Cover with soil or compost and watch them germinate in 2-3 weeks. Repeat this process in batches. 

Fresh Coriander

  • Fresh herbs don’t necessarily need cooking and can be added towards the end like a garnish. Add fresh coriander leaves as garnish for most of your curries and dal.
  • I like to make a paste with coriander, mint leaves, ginger and garlic and add it to my pulao rice, when cooking.
  • I also love to use Coriander stems to enhance the flavours of the dish I am cooking. Use not just the leaves, the stems too. They are full of flavours.
  • Along with working in many dishes, fresh coriander in delicious in pesto and chutney.


Coriander Seeds

Unlike fresh coriander, coriander seeds are used in the process of cooking or pickling. 

To achieve maximum flavours, I like toast the coriander seeds in a pan without any oil. Remove from heat and allow them to cool. The toasted seeds can now be used crushed, whole or even powdered. 

So many ways to use -

  • Whole seeds can be used in pickling vegetables, baking as well as rubs.
  • Crushed coriander seeds can be used in a marinade or in dals.
  • For ground coriander, add the toasted coriander seeds to the blender jar and powder them. Store them in an air tight jar.
  • Along with pastes, use the toasted seeds in coriander chilli Infused oil. They are delicious to drizzle on bread, dips and more.


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