Ground coriander and ground cumin provide flavor and aroma in various cuisines originating on almost every continent. In the United States, coriander refers only to the seed. In other countries, coriander may also refer to the leaf of the plant.


Cumin is part of the parsley family, and its “seeds” are actually the dried fruit of the plant. Ground cumin is the seeds in powder form. The most commonly sold powder is made from amber cumin seeds, as opposed to white or black. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. Ground coriander is the powder form of the seed. Some countries also use the word “coriander” to refer to the leaf of the plant. In the United States, the leaves are called cilantro.

Properties and Uses

Asian, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines use ground cumin extensively. Ground cumin goes well with cinnamon, cayenne, oregano and thyme. Coriander is lighter and has a milder taste than cumin. Middle Eastern, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese food feature coriander.

Health Benefits

A mixture of fried cumin and and mashed banana helps promote sleep, according to the website Fitness and Health Tips Today. Ground coriander promotes digestion and provides protection against infection in the urinary tract.