Coriander is an important spice crop and occupies a prime position in flavouring substances. It was one of the first spices to be used as a common flavouring substance. The stem, leaves and fruits all have a pleasant aromatic odour. The entire plant when young is used in preparing chutneys and sauces, and the leaves are used for flavouring continental curries and soups. The fruits are extensively employed as a condiment in the preparations of curry powder, pickling spices, sausages and seasonings. Coriander seeds are also known for their medicinal properties and are considered carminative, diuretic tonic, stomachic antibilious, refrigerant and aphrodisiac. The volatile oil is also used in flavouring liquors and for obscuring the bad smell of medicines.
Seed spices contain a variable amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibres, minerals and vitamins. However, owing to the very small quantity used in the foods, their contribution to nutrient requirements is not significant. Proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins are thus less important in delineating the quality of spices.