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February 20, 2024 5 min read

Coriander is essential in many kitchens, especially for South Asian or Indian dishes. These small seeds have a slightly earthy aroma and a mild citrusy flavor. While you can buy powdered coriander in stores, it won't have the same flavor and aroma as freshly ground coriander seeds. This is because, by the time it's packaged, much of the essential oils and aroma have escaped, leaving you with less flavorful dishes. 

To get the most out of your dishes, here's a simple guide to grinding coriander seeds at home.


What Are Coriander Seeds?

 

corriander seeds in person's palm
Credit: Envato Elements/ francescosgura

Coriander seeds are the dried seeds of the coriander plant, also known as Coriandrum sativum. They have a warm, toasty flavor with a faint citrus undertone. They're often ground into powder or used whole in various dishes, including curries, soups, stews, and marinades. Apart from adding flavor to dishes, these seeds are also believed to have some health benefits, such as helping digestion and having antioxidant properties.


Do You Need to Toast the Seeds Before Grinding Them?

 

coriander seeds in glass jar
Credit: Envato Elements/ francesgura

It's not a must, but it's highly recommended. Toasting the seeds can improve their flavor, making them richer and more aromatic.


To toast coriander seeds, follow the steps below:


  • Heat a dry pan over medium heat.
  • Add the seeds to the pan.
  • Toast the seeds for up to 5 minutes or until they become fragrant.
  • Make sure to keep them moving in the pan to avoid burning.
  • Once they've cooled down, you're ready to grind them.

How to Grind Coriander Seeds


You can grind your coriander seeds using multiple methods. Here are some really effective ones that can help you out:


1) Pepper Mill

 

pepper mill with pepper corns insider
Credit: Envato Elements/ jirkaejc

A pepper mill isn't only for grinding peppercorns; it's also handy for crushing coriander seeds. It has a small container with blades at the bottom. When you twist the top, crushed pepper or ground coriander emerges from the bottom. This method is great if you want to be able to adjust the coarseness of the seeds.


Here's how to grind coriander seeds using a pepper mill:


  • After toasting, let the coriander seeds cool down.
  • Fill your pepper mill with the cooled seeds. Make sure not to overfill your grinder. Leave enough space for grinding.
  • Adjust the grind size on your mill to your preference.
  • Twist the mill over a bowl or directly into your dish until you've ground the amount you need.

2) Coffee Grinder

 

hand using coffee grinder
Credit: Envato Elements/ ckstockphoto

The coffee grinder is a fast and effective tool for turning coriander seeds into a fine powder. There are two types of coffee grinders: rotary-style blade grinders and burr grinders.

Rotary-style blade grinders are like small blenders. They have sharp blades at the bottom that spin around to chop up the seeds. Burr grinders, on the other hand, use abrasive surfaces called burrs to crush the seeds. These grinders usually have different settings to adjust the coarseness of the grind.


To use a rotary-style blade grinder, follow the steps below:


  • Place a small amount of seeds in the grinder, put on the lid, and press the button to start grinding.
  • Pulse the grinder a few times until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Tap the grinder before opening it to settle the powder, then pour it out.

To use a burr grinder, follow the steps below:


  • Set the grinder to the desired coarseness.
  • Add the coriander seeds to the hopper, and turn on the grinder.

3) Mortar and Pestle

granite mortar and pestle

 

A mortar and pestle is a handy tool in the kitchen. It's made of a bowl, often stone or metal, and a heavy, club-shaped tool you hold to crush spices. Many kitchens love using it because it keeps the spices' essential oils intact, unlike regular grinders with blades.


Here's how to use a mortar and pestle to make your own homemade coriander powder:


  • Add a small batch of seeds to the mortar.
  • Use the pestle to press and twist over the seeds.
  • Scrape out the ground coriander and repeat with the next batch if necessary.

4) Spice Grinder

 

different types of spice grinders
Credit: Envato Elements/ Shaiith

For finely ground coriander powder, use a spice mill to crush coriander seeds. There are two main types of spice mills: manual and electric grinders.

Manual grinders require you to turn a handle to crush the seeds. Electric grinders, on the other hand, are powered by electricity and do the grinding for you.


To use a manual grinder, follow the steps below:


  • Fill the grinder's chamber with coriander seeds.
  • Securely close the lid or top of the grinder.
  • Hold the grinder firmly and turn the handle clockwise repeatedly.
  • Continue grinding until the coriander seeds reach the desired fineness.

To use an electric grinder, follow the steps below:


  • Fill the grinder's chamber with whole coriander seeds.
  • Securely close the lid or top of the grinder.
  • Plug in the grinder to an electrical outlet.
  • Press the button or switch to start the grinding process.
  • Allow the grinder to run until the coriander seeds are finely ground.
  • Unplug the grinder and remove the lid to access the freshly ground coriander seed powder.

5) Meat Hammer

 

hand smashing meat with meat hammer
Credit: Envato Elements/ StudioPeace

Meat hammers are strong and hefty tools that can be used to pound coriander seeds. This method is especially good for when you want a chunkier texture and a more pronounced flavor in your dishes. It's a bit unconventional but highly effective and surprisingly fun.


Here's how to use a meat hammer to make your own coriander powder:


  • Place the toasted seeds on a cutting board or a clean, flat surface.
  • Cover them with parchment paper or a plastic bag to prevent seeds from flying everywhere.
  • Gently hammer the seeds with the flat side to crack them open and grind to your liking.
  • Collect the crushed seeds and use them as required.

6) Rolling Pin (or Another Heavy Object)

 

wooden rolling pin on counter
Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFieldStudios

Whether it's a rolling pin, a wine bottle, or even a heavy can, these are all great options for grinding coriander seeds. It's perfect for those who enjoy a hands-on approach to cooking and love the idea of using what's already in their kitchen to get the job done.


Here's how to use this method to grind coriander seeds:


  • Spread the toasted seeds on a hard, flat surface and cover with parchment paper.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll back and forth over the seeds, applying even pressure to crush them.
  • Check the consistency and continue rolling until satisfied with the texture.

FAQ Section


Q: How long does ground coriander last?

Ground coriander can last for several months if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. However, for the freshest flavor, it's best to grind only what you need for immediate use.


Q: What can I use if I don't have coriander seeds?

If you don't have coriander seeds, you can substitute with ground coriander, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, or fresh cilantro leaves for a similar flavor profile in your dishes. Adjust quantities based on taste and recipe requirements.


Q: Can I crush coriander seed with other spices?

Yes, you can grind coriander seeds with other spices, either individually or in combination. Just make sure to clean your grinder thoroughly between uses to avoid flavor contamination.


Q: Can I use ground coriander in sweet dishes?

While coriander is commonly used in savory dishes, it can also add a unique flavor to some sweet dishes, particularly those with citrus or floral notes. 


Summary


In this guide, we've covered six effective methods for grinding coriander seeds at home. From using traditional tools like a mortar and pestle to modern appliances like coffee grinders and spice mills, there's a method suitable for every kitchen.

If you're looking for a traditional yet efficient way to grind your freshly ground spices and curry powder, consider the Pepe Nero mortar and pestle. Handcrafted for precision and authenticity, Pepe Nero ensures that every spice is ground to perfection. Shop with us today.


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