Cilantro is an herb with wide delicate lacy green leaves and a pungent flavor. The seed of the cilantro plant is known as coriander. Although cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, their flavors are very different and cannot be substituted for each other. (Some countries refer to the cilantro as coriander, so any references to “fresh coriander” or “coriander leaves” refer to cilantro.) Note: “Culantro” is an herb related to cilantro that is widely used in dishes throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Far East.
All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most commonly used in cooking. Coriander is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, South Asian, Mexican, Latin American, Chinese, African and Southeast Asian cuisine.