Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as Cilantro, Chinese parsley or Dhania, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in small umbels, white or very pale pink.
The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian foods (such as chutneys and salads), in Chinese and Thai dishes, in Mexican cooking, particularly in salsa and guacamole and as a garnish, and in salads in Russia and other countries. Chopped coriander leaves are a garnish on Indian dishes such as dal. As heat diminishes their flavour, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavour diminishes.