If you think about India’s favorite garnishing ingredient for curries and rice, the humble coriander stands above all. This widely used herb has worked its way to every Indian kitchen to brighten up a dish. A powerhouse of holistic benefits, coriander has always been underappreciated due to its easy availability and affordable price. Commonly known as dhaniya, coriander is packed with a bundle of nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium sodium, vitamin A, B, C, and K.

Coriander’s popularity in the Indian kitchen is also due to its richness in ascorbic acid and 11 components of essential oils. It is known for its disinfecting, detoxifying, and antioxidant properties. While you may know the benefits of coriander leaves, their stems usually end up discarded in a bin.

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Coriander leaves and stems are a must in your diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Thin stems of coriander after removing the leaves have been used in Thai cooking for a long time. The stalks are tender, full of flavour and nutritional goodness. And most importantly, they are edible. If you’re still not convinced, here are a few health benefits of coriander stems that you may not know about:

1. Controls blood sugar

Coriander may reduce the risk of diabetes as it keeps your blood sugar levels in check. Dr Divya Dhawan, Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Apollo Specialty Hospitals, Nehru Enclave, New Delhi tells HealthShots, “Various studies have confirmed that coriander leaves are packed with activated enzymes that help manage glucose levels in the blood by removing sugar from the blood. Thus, you will be able to control diabetes.”

2. Keeps your oral health in check

Coriander stems are rich in citronellol, which is a great antiseptic that helps fight microbial growth in our body and treats ulcers. It may also reduce bad breath as coriander extracts are also used in toothpaste.

3. Clears out your skin

Coriander leaves and stems are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They help fight acne, detoxify your bodies and fight skin disorders like eczema and skin infections.

4. Aids digestion

Known to stimulate digestive juices and enzymes, coriander may soothe digestive troubles. Not only this, but coriander can also reduce bloating and regulate bowel movements. It makes you feel fuller and prevents overeating, and keeps your gut healthy.

5. Boost immunity

A powerhouse of antioxidants, the humble dhaniya can prevent cellular damage by free radicals.  It is rich in compounds like terpinene and quercetin that are proven to have immune-boosting and neuroprotective, anticancer effects.

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A healthy immune system protects you. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Improves bone health

Dr Dhawan says, “Coriander has vital minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that can increase bone density and protect you from aching joints. If you want strong bones, it can be a good option for you.”

So, if you are guilty of throwing the ‘good-doer’ coriander stalks away, it’s time to make amends and use them in tons of wonderful and savoury dishes.

Here’s a simple lemon-coriander soup for starters. It just takes 20 minutes from start to finish to make a large pot of this flavorful and hearty soup. Try it yourself as a chilly winter evening snack or a highlight of your big family feast.

Ingredients

1 cup Coriander stems

6-8 Garlic cloves

½ inch pc Ginger

1 cup Corn kernels

1 cup chopped Mushrooms

1 cup chopped Spring onion greens

1 pc Lemon

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

4 tbsp Corn starch

Coriander leaves for garnish

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This is a bowl of comfort and health! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Recipe

  1.   Put 5 cups of water to boil in a saucepan.
  2.   Add coriander stems and 3 pressed garlic cloves to infuse the flavour.
  3.   Let it boil for 6 minutes. Until then you can prepare the vegetable additions.
  4.   Heat a pan and pour 1 tbsp of ghee and 1 tbsp of butter.
  5.   Once the butter melts, add some finely chopped ginger and garlic.
  6.   Sweat the ginger garlic and add corn kernels and chopped mushrooms to the pan.
  7.   As veggies release water, add spring onion greens.
  8.   Season the veggies with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.
  9.   Strain and pour the boiling coriander stem stock into the semi-cooked vegetables.
  10. Prepare cornflour and water slurry and add to the boiling soup for thickening it.
  11. Once it comes to a boil, pour it into soup bowls.
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with soup sticks.

You may find numerous vegetables, herbs, and spices to add to the soup, but the fragrant coriander stem stock will always be a winner. You can prepare this soup when you have excess vegetables in your pantry which may go stale if left unused. Due to the amazing benefits of coriander, this soup may provide relief to you or your family member suffering from cold and congestion. Try this quick to make, healthy, and delicious soup and thank us later!