Cumin Substitute


Cumin seed is a commonly used ingredient to prepare dishes from the Mexican, Malaysian, and Indian cuisine. However, when you add excessive cumin seeds to your dish, it adds a strong flavor to your dish.


Cumin seed is a common accompaniment of chili recipes. In order to add a strong flavor to your dish you must roast the cumin seeds first in a dry skillet over high heat, until it emanates a strong fragrance. Keep the roasted cumin seeds aside for few minutes and grind it to make a fresh powder. You may grind the seeds in an electric mixer grinder or the mortar and pestle.

Substitutes of cumin seeds

Sometimes it may happen that while preparing a certain recipe you may notice that you do not have cumin seeds in your kitchen pantry. There is no need to worry because you can use any of the three substitutes of cumin seeds to make your dish aromatic.

  1. Freshly ground coriander: Ground coriander is produced from the coriander seeds to add a great flavor to your dish. It is a common constituent of Garam masala, i.e. a mixture of five spices used by Indians to prepare curries and gravies.

You can replace cumin seeds with half amount of coriander powder to add a similar taste to your dish.

  1. Chili powder: It is used to prepare stews, soups, etc. it adds a distinct tangy flavor to your dish. The spice is a great substitute of cumin seeds because of its essential vitamins and minerals. Substitute cumin seeds with half amount of chili powder for best results.
  2. Caraway seeds: These seeds are used to prepare liquor, desserts, casseroles and several dishes from the European as well as Indian cuisine. Caraway seeds possess a taste similar to anise seeds as well as a sweet fragrance like the essential oils, which makes it a great substitute for cumin seeds. Half quantity of caraway seeds must be replaced with a teaspoon of cumin seeds to make your dish tasty.

Quick substitutes: Herbs and Spices

  • Cloves: replace it with cinnamon, allspice, or nutmeg
  • Allspice: replace one teaspoon of allspice with a mixture of ½ tsp cinnamon (whole or powdered), or ½ tsp fresh ground cloves. Add to the mixture ¼ tsp nutmeg and ¼ tsp ground cloves to make a great substitute of allspice.
  • Garlic: you may replace a clove of fresh garlic with 1/8 tsp garlic powder/ ¾ tsp minced garlic/ ½ tsp garlic juice/ ½ tsp garlic salt/ 1 tsp garlic paste.
  • Oregano: good substitutes of this herb include basil, thyme, or marjoram
  • Italian seasoning: You may replace this mixture of essential herbs with a teaspoonful of each herb including basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, and rosemary.
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