Ground coriander and ground cumin are used in various cuisines whose origins are on almost every continent, but they boast widely different flavor profiles.
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 coriander to refer to the leaf of the plant.
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. In the west, coriander is often used in sweet dishes like pastries.
Ground coriander is said to promote digestion and provides protection against infection in the urinary tract. Ground cumin is also reported to have health benefits such as improved digestion, immunity as well as relieving asthma, bronchitis and the comon cold.