Coriander seeds can be ground into a powder using blenders, coffee grinders, food processors, mortar and pestles, spice mills, meat cleavers, meat hammers, pepper mills, rolling pins, and wine bottles.
If you’ve ever wondered why your homemade curry tastes so different compared to the ones served in authentic Indian restaurants, it could be due to your coriander powder! Keep reading to learn exactly why this happens and how to grind coriander seeds at home.
Coriander seeds can be ground into powder in 5 different ways using a spice mill, coffee grinder, blender, food processor, and mortar and pestle.
Coriander powder is a delicious, earthy spice that can be used for a multitude of dishes.
To best make coriander powder yourself, read further to learn how to grind coriander using special tools!
For finely ground coriander powder, use a spice mill to pulverize coriander seeds. Spice mills consistently produce fine spice powders and are a reliable tool to use for coriander.
This, of course, is the perfect tool for grinding a spice like coriander!
There are different spice mills available but there are 2 main types you will be choosing from.
Manual-style spice grinders allow you to grate coriander seeds to your preferred texture and are great if you need different kinds.
Conversely, you can rely on electric spice grinders to briskly buzz through large amounts of coriander with very little effort.
Learn about the difference between herbs and spices and how to use them.
This is great for dedicated home gardeners and cooks alike that need a specialized tool to grind all their various spices.
Mini portable blenders for drinks might work as well. However, these are specifically made for liquids and the occasional ice cube. So they may not be strong enough to grind the coriander seeds into fine powder
Coffee grinders are suitable for turning coriander seeds into evenly textured coriander powder. Afterward, clean out the remaining residue of coriander by grinding rice in the coffee grinder.
Since coffee grinders have wide and sturdy blades meant for coffee beans, they should be able to grind 3–5-mm-sized coriander seeds just fine. Two of the most common coffee grinders are those with blade grinders, and others with burr grinders.
Rotary-style blade grinders will work wonderfully. Burr grinders are slightly more complex, using multiple grinding wheels for more fine and consistent particles.
It’s best to use a dedicated coffee grinder for this, however, to eliminate the chances of you brewing spice-filled coffee the next day. Such a unique coffee might not be bad, but you may not enjoy its taste!
With a few tablespoons of rice, you can quickly clean out your coffee grinder afterward to remove any leftover coriander. The rice grains will gather any residual spices as it’s being ground.
If you’re a fan of caffeine, check out our article on these 5 herbs with natural caffeine.
Blenders can grind coriander seeds quickly. With the lid on, pulse the seeds on low speed using flat blades to create a fresh powder. Repeat this until the seeds are ground into fine coriander powder.
Some blenders might only have one setting available but this should leave you with a semi-fine powder.
Mini portable blenders for drinks might work as well. However, these items are specifically made for liquids and the occasional small ice cube. So they may not do a good-enough job of grinding the coriander seeds into fine powder.
Food processors have powerful motors and flat blades that can quickly grind coriander seeds. They are suitable for grinding large amounts of coriander seeds into powder.
When using different appliances to grind spices and herbs, it’s best to inspect the blades. The typical blades used in a food processor might not be suitable for your spice grinding.
The blades should be as low and flat as possible for them to come into contact with the coriander seeds and pulse them.
If your food processor comes with a flat blade, you can grind large quantities of coriander seeds all at once with little energy!
Mortar and pestles are commonly used for grinding coriander and other spices. Heavy mortar and pestles made with rough granite will quickly crush coriander seeds to the desired texture.
An infinitely useful kitchen tool, mortar and pestles are excellent for grinding coriander. You can control how coarse or fine the powder will be, although it may be tiring after some time.
The best mortar and pestles, at least in my humble opinion, are those with rough interiors and pestles to aid in the grinding process. You can grind coriander into a very fine powder this way.
Some home cooks have trouble with the coriander husks that fall off as they crush them. Although they are edible, they’re hard to grind. What you can do is remove the husks beforehand or the crushed seeds into a sieve to sift out the husks.
This mortar and pestle on Amazon has a rough texture that is ideal for grinding spices and coriander!
Coriander seeds can be ground using meat cleavers, meat hammers, pepper mills, rolling pins, and wine bottles. However, some of these tools can be dangerous when used to grind coriander into powder.
We’ve already run through some of the best special tools and appliances for grinding coriander seeds. But what if you don’t have any of them?
Don’t worry, I still have you covered! Here are some common kitchen items you can use in a pinch to make fresh coriander powder.
Coriander can be crushed with meat cleavers. Place coriander seeds in a ziplock bag and crush the seeds using the sides and the back of the meat cleaver. This method will not produce fine coriander powder and can cause injury.
No, I am not suggesting you chop and mince your coriander seeds. If you’re desperate and have a dull knife, however, this will help you.
But again, this isn’t the safest idea. So if you must use this method, stick with a straight-edged meat cleaver and see if you can wear thick protective gloves. This is marginally safer than a narrow-bladed kitchen knife and has more weight to it as well.
After toasting your coriander, which I will talk more about later on, put it in a ziplock bag and make sure it is sealed. Then, with the sharp edge directed away from you, crush the coriander seeds repeatedly with the side of the blade.
This is why I recommend using a meat cleaver over a knife. It provides more surface area and you are less likely to slip and cut yourself.
You might have to put your whole body weight into it to crush all the seeds, though. Repeat this process until they’re crushed, and then use the spine of the knife to break the seeds into smaller pieces.
For all efforts made, however, this will probably result in a coarse grit rather than a fine coriander powder. In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether this is worth the time, energy, and potential harm.
Meat hammers are sturdy and heavy mallets that can pound coriander seeds into fine grains. Crush the seeds in a ziplock bag to create coriander spice powder.
The following suggestion may not be the quietest way to make your own coriander powder but it is undoubtedly much safer than slamming sharp cleavers around!
Pro Tip: If a meat hammer is unavailable, you can use a mallet.
With the coriander seeds inside the ziplock, you can easily pound them into a powder with a meat hammer without making a mess in the kitchen.
Shake the coriander seeds in the ziplock from time to time to dislodge any larger particles that might be hiding and crush the seeds as much as you can with the meat hammer.
Of course, this might not produce the finest powder but it will work in a pinch. Plus, it makes for great stress relief!
A meat hammer is a versatile tool that many home cooks will have in the kitchen for cooking things like steak or fried chicken.
Read about the 5 herbs that go well with steak and how to use them!
Pepper mills are highly effective in grinding coriander seeds into powder. This is done with the metal wheels inside the tube and can typically be adjusted to create coarse or fine powders.
The trusty pepper mill is a kitchen accessory that most of us have—or have at least seen.
They’re essentially the same as spice grinders but are made specifically for peppercorns. But you can use a spare pepper mill to pulverize your other favorite spices, including coriander.
Pepper mills often have a couple of wheels at the bottom that works by cracking the peppercorn, or in this case, the coriander seeds, and grinding them.
This makes it perfect for grinding coriander seeds!
Just twist the handle with one hand while holding the base with the other to quickly grate the coriander into a nice and smooth powder.
Rolling pins can be used to grind up coriander seeds. Tape the edges of a coriander-filled ziplock bag to a flat surface to prevent the seeds from rolling excessively and pound the coriander into a powder.
Bakers, rejoice! Even basic rolling pins can be used to beat coriander seeds into coarse and semi-fine powder.
The powder may not be as fine as you’d like using a rolling pin but it should still be usable.
However, some folks have complained that the coriander just ends up rolling away from them in the process.
To prevent this from happening, tape the edges of the ziplock bag containing coriander seeds down to the table and press it down flat as much as possible.
With the edges sealed off and secured to the table, this will help prevent the coriander from rolling away throughout the bag!
Coriander seeds can be ground into a powder with the use of thick and empty wine bottles. Crush the coriander seeds with the bottom of the wine bottle and then roll the bottle over the coriander to grind them.
If none of the other 9 items I listed earlier are available to you, that empty wine bottle from your last anniversary can still be of use!
You can use the wine bottle similarly to a rolling pin, or you can use its weighted bottom to crush the coriander in a ziplock bag as much as possible.
Because of this, I suggest using a bottle made with thick glass. If the bottle is too thin, it can easily shatter!
Of course, don’t use a full wine bottle either, as this may break and spill wine all over the place. Do this on a flat and sturdy surface that won’t be damaged by repetitive slamming.
If you enjoy drinking wine, check out the 5 plants that produce alcohol.
Freshly ground coriander seeds have a stronger flavor than preground spices commonly sold in stores. Preground spices are also usually old and have a dull taste. Grind coriander seeds at home for a richer and more aromatic powder.
Although preground coriander might be more convenient, there is truly nothing that can beat freshly ground spices.
Since shipping and delivering spices can take some time, your favorite preground spices will probably already be pretty old by the time they reach your local grocery. Unless there’s a date, who knows how old they are?
Once any spice is ground into a powder, it will start to absorb moisture from the air. Their chemical compounds will quickly deteriorate and the spices will lose their flavor and aroma.
If you have to bury your nose in the spice bottle to pick up its smell, it’s time for a replacement. But I have friends who still have the same spices their grandmother used!
While ground spices can technically last up to 3 years, they will already have a noticeable decline in aroma and flavor just after 3 months.
Grinding coriander seeds at home will ensure your spices are the freshest and most flavorful they can be. Store your ground coriander in an airtight jar to extend its life.
Toasting coriander seeds is essential in releasing deeper and stronger flavors before grinding them. The process of heating coriander helps release its aromatic oils while eliminating residual bacteria, making it more flavorful and safer to eat.
The taste of freshly ground coriander seeds will already be light-years away from the store-bought kind. But you can take it another step further!
Coriander seeds contain 0.2% to 2% of compounds like oils such as linalool and camphor, which are extremely fragrant. Camphor is known to have an orange-like smell, which gives coriander its citrusy scent.
By heating up and toasting the coriander seeds, these aromatic oils will be released and add an entirely different layer to the taste. The difference made after simply toasting coriander seeds is subtle, yet impossible to miss.
Set the stove to low heat and dump the coriander seeds straight into the dry pan. Stir them regularly to prevent them from burning.
Aside from adding new depths of flavor to it, this toasting process can help get rid of any Salmonella or any other bacteria that may be lingering on the seeds.
When the coriander seeds have browned and the air is full of the smell of coriander, it’s ready.
Grinding the coriander seeds while they’re hot could cause them to become gummy. So, make sure these coriander seeds are completely cool before grinding. After that, all you need to do now is enjoy your freshly toasted and ground coriander!
What do you need to do before grinding coriander seeds?
Ensure that the coriander seeds are clean and dry before toasting and grinding them. The husks may also be removed ahead of time but these can be ground into powder as well.
Are coriander seeds the same as cumin seeds?
Although both seeds are part of the Apiaceae family, cumin seeds are not the same as coriander seeds. Cumin seeds are long and look similar to rice, whereas coriander is small and round, resembling quinoa.
Are coriander seeds bad for dogs?
All parts of the coriander plant are edible and are safe for dogs to consume. Coriander seeds are non-toxic and can be occasionally given to dogs to eat.
Coriander seeds are most potent and aromatic when freshly ground. Coriander can be ground using special tools like a spice mill, coffee grinder, blender, food processor, and mortar and pestle.
Other common household items that can be used to grind coriander seeds include a meat cleaver, meat hammer, pepper mill, rolling pin, and wine bottle. Toasting coriander seeds before grinding them make them more flavorful and gets rid of bacteria.
- “Coriandrum sativum” by n/a in North Carolina State University
- “Cilantro (Coriander)” by n/a in University of California
- “Spices linked to Salmonella contamination” by Suzanne Driessen in University of Minnesota
- “Chemical composition and biological activity of coriandrum sativum l.: A review” by Khushminder Kaur Chahal, Ravinder Singh, A. Kumar, and Urvashi Bhardwaj in Punjab Agricultural University