Fresh coriander, also known as dried fruits of the cilantro plant, are light brown seeds that look like pods with a textured exterior. Ground coriander has a golden, light brown color with a musky, appetizing smell. The cilantro plant has green leaves with yellow flowers.
Coriander seeds are ground to form a spice that has a distinctively earthy aroma with sweet notes. It also has notes of citrus for a tangy, yet warm taste. The spice pairs well with salads, fish, stews, curries and meat. It is often part of Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Asian recipes. Ground coriander is available in many grocery stores.
Coriander seeds that aren't ripe yet may not smell palatable. Often, ground coriander tastes most flavorful when it's fresh, and roasted coriander has an enhanced flavor and aroma.