Cilantro

There are several herbs that can be used to provide the flavor of cilantro, a popular ingredient in Mexican and Asian cuisines. The most widely recognized form is Coriander, whose leaves provide the familiar cilantro flavor in salsas, and whose seeds add flavor to soups, chili sauces, curries, and other exotic dishes. However, coriander is a cool season annual here, and other alternatives become necessary for those of us who want to make salsa when our tomatoes are beginning to ripen! Rau ram is a heat-loving perennial native to Asia, and makes a very good substitute. Mexican Coriander, a thorny-leaved native to Central America, can also be used. Although its leaves are tough, they add a nice flavor when finely chopped and added to your food. All of these (with the exception of Mexican Coriander) should be added during the last few minutes of cooking to avoid any flavor loss.