Cilantro is the parsley of the East, where it’s known as “coriander leaves” or “dhani”. (In Mexico, where it’s also very popular, it’s sometimes called “Mexican parsley”.)
If you like cilantro (and some people don’t at all), the herb is an easy way to add a beautifully fresh, sweet, fruity flavor to any dish.
To prep it, first rinse and shake dry the leaves. Hold the bouquet at an angle with the leaves against the cutting board. Run your knife down the side of the bouquet to slice away the leaves. It’s fine to remove some of the tender stems along with the leaves. (In fact, for salsas, spice pastes, curries and some longer-cooking dishes, the stems add essential, concentrated cilantro flavor.)
Now just run your knife back and forth across the pile of leaves, chopping them as coarsely or as finely as you need to. The closer to the end of the cooking you plan to add the cilantro, the finer you’ll want to chop it. But since cilantro is so tender it’s usually okay to keep the chop coarse.