Coriander Vs Cilantro: What Are The Difference And Benefits

Yashasvi SaxenaSep 7 . 8 min read

Hello to my foodie fam!

Today we’re going to blow our minds with this epic battle, the battle of the millennium - Coriander Vs Cilantro! 

I know what’s troubling you guys. This confusion with cilantro and coriander is really a lot to handle. I’ve had a fair share of confusion and doubt regarding the same. But it wasn’t until some time ago that I decide to finish these confusions once and for all. 

So here I am sharing with you what I learned and make these small but significant things clear to you.

So here comes the battle of Coriander Vs Cilantro!

Also Read: The Uses And Benefits Of Coriander

About The Herbs

Defeated by my habits, let me throw some scientific facts and info upon you! We’ll talk about the herbs one at a time. So, let us begin!         


Coriander seeds belong to the family Apiaceae. Its scientific name is Coriandrum Sativum. It is an annual herb whose all parts are consumable in different ways.

Coriander seeds are widely used as a spice in Asian, to be specific, Indian cuisines. It can also be used whole or can be ground into a fine powder that can be sprinkled on your favorite dishes.



The word cilantro derives from translating the Latin word Coriandrum to Spanish. Cilantro is used to address the leaves and stems of the plant that grows from coriander seeds. Hence, the scientific name of the herb is also Coriandrum Sativum. The herb is used as a garnish in almost all recipes worldwide. Other names for cilantro are dhania, Chinese parsley or simply, coriander leaves.

Is Coriander And Cilantro The Same Thing

Now, this is a rather complicated question whose answer depends upon the region your currently reading this from. Let me simplify this puzzle for you!

If you’re in Asia, the word coriander can be used to address either the seeds or the leaves of the herb. Cilantro is not a famous attribute here for this herb. Most of the time, the recipe card or any person you’re conversing with, will specify the things using the phrases ‘Coriander seeds’ or ‘Coriander Leaves’. You needn’t worry. And if they don’t, you’re free to ask!

Pro tip: If juggling through a recipe card and it’s not specified whether to use seeds or leaves, analyze the steps. If the step is of adding spices or flavoring the oil, then you need ground and whole coriander seeds respectively. If the step is to garnish or make stock, then you need coriander leaves.

If you’re in the States, then Cilantro is for the leaves and Coriander is for the seeds.

Coriander Vs Cilantro

Battle of the hour: Cilantro vs Coriander. Which one is better? Which one is healthier? Which one is tastier? Which looks prettier? All these questions are answered below. Scroll scroll scroll!

Physical Difference

Coriander seeds are spherical in shape and husky in texture. Specifying more, they can be thought of as a partly hollow sphere of a pale brown color with slight hints of green and elongated to some extent.

Cilantro, on the other hand, is a leaf. It is going to be green obviously, with small leaves attached to its stem. A cluster of stems originates from the root. Both the stem and the leaves are consumable.

Nutrient Profile Difference

Okay, let us talk in terms of nutrients. Coming up first is water content. Water content in coriander is obviously going to be lower as it is a seed. Whereas, in cilantro, water content is comparatively higher. Next up are vitamins. Cilantro has higher levels of vitamins as compared to Coriander. In terms of minerals, coriander ranks higher. When talking of dietary fibers, coriander again wins this battle of cilantro vs coriander with 16.8% of dietary fiber in its nutrient profile.

Trivia: Cilantro is 92.2% water.

Taste Differences

Moving forward with this hypothetical battle of coriander vs cilantro, let us talk about their tastes and difference in tastes. 

Cilantro gains most of its taste due to its aroma. It is a fragrant and refreshing herb with citrus tones. It feels mostly leafy while eating. The stems are basically like semi-hollow pipes with approximately the same flavor as the leaves. They feel a bit husky on consuming raw.

Talking of coriander, it has citrusy undertones but the top note is spicy. When used as a spice, it feels warm and nutty.

When asked to compare which one tastes better, as the battle of coriander vs cilantro demands, my take will be that these both are awesome at their respective places. As they don’t belong to the same category of utility, hence they can be precisely compared on these terms.

Fun Fact: Dried cilantro vs fresh coriander - Dried cilantro can be used as a seasoning in your pasta or noodles. Whereas fresh coriander can be used in whichever way you like.

Coriander Vs Cilantro: Health Benefits

Let us take this coriander vs cilantro discussion up a notch by talking about their health benefits.

First up is cilantro. It is a rich source of Vitamin A, K, and E. It is rich in antioxidants and may help in reducing inflammation. It also helps in fighting skin aging. It also discourages the growth of cancer cells in several body parts like the stomach, prostate, breasts, and lungs.

Next, Coriander. It is rich in minerals like Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, and Calcium. It is also packed with antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation. It helps in reducing blood pressure and eliminate excess water and salt through urine. It also reduces blood sugar levels. 

Substitute For Coriander And Cilantro

Cilantro → Parsley


One of the best and actively used substitutes for cilantro is parsley. It is very similar to cilantro in physical appearance and is used exactly as cilantro.

 Coriander → Cumin

Carrying with it the same warmth and nuttiness, cumin seeds are one of the best substitutes for coriander seeds. 

Coriander Vs Cilantro Vs Parsley

By now, you pretty much know the difference between these three cuties. Physically, coriander is the seed of the plant from which the leaves come out, which is named cilantro. And Parsley is another herb that can be used to garnish your favorite recipes when your herb garden falls short of cilantro. When the nutritional value is concerned, cilantro is a bit higher in calcium and dietary fiber count than parsley. Rest all is similar.

Dishes Made Using Cilantro And Coriander

Enough facts, let us talk utility now! Below is a list of some exciting recipes that you can try out using your favorite herb cilantro and the warmest spice coriander.

Activate the chef within you and get started!


  • Chutney

An Indian dip that pairs up with almost all the traditional Indian dishes you can think of. It is made by blending cilantro with some garlic and green chilies along with some salt and other additions as per your taste.

  • Soups

It is used as a garnish or as a vegetable for vegetable stock

  • Dumplings

The Indian version of Korean Dumplings, also known as Momos, has a filling that uses cilantro stems.


  • As A Tadka

Most of the South Indian cuisines use coriander seeds to flavor the oil, or as they call it, put ‘Tadka’ in the oil.

  • Pickles

Ground coriander is used as a flavoring agent in pickles and chutneys.

  • Curry

All the Indian curries or ‘Tarkaris’ are incomplete without coriander power.

Closing Note: Simply speaking, if you see leaves- Cilantro and if you see seeds- Coriander!

(I think that’s the best explanation, why didn’t I say it like this before, dumb me.)

With this note, I take a leave. Until next time!

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