Monthly Archives: September 2015

Coriander Seeds Substitute

Coriander is the spherical seed of a small plant called Eryngium foetidum. The fresh leaves of the same plant are known as cilantro. Both coriander seeds and cilantro are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Unripe coriander seeds have an unsavory smell, while their ripe form has a distinctive fragrance. They impart a warm, mild, and sweetish flavor to pungent dishes from India, Middle East, and Mexico.

Its popularity as an ingredient to many dishes is increasing day by day. But its unavailability in many parts of the world restricts its usage. This is the reason why many people ask for coriander seed substitutes that can enhance the flavor of certain dishes in the same manner as these seeds do. The article has tried to list a few such substitutes that can bring the taste which may not be exactly same as coriander seeds, but quite similar to them. However, to get a better understanding of usage of these seeds and their benefits, take a look at the following account.

Uses of Coriander Seeds

✦ Coriander seeds find their use in various kinds of recipes. They are a major constituent of curry powder in India.
✦ The crispy form of coriander seeds is used in stews, soups, and various Mexican cuisines.
✦ Since coriander seeds blend well with smoked meat, they are an important ingredient in many English and Italian recipes.
✦ They are an important constituent of garam masala, pudding, and pickling spices.
✦ Powdered coriander seeds are added to cakes, breads, and other baked foods to enhance their flavor.


✦ Coriander seeds help in removing heavy metals from the bloodstream as they can form chelates with them.
✦ They have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, they are used to alleviate the symptoms of diseases like arthritis.
✦ Regular intake of coriander seeds and leaves help in relieving many digestive system problems.
✦ These seeds are a rich source of minerals like iron and magnesium.
✦ They have a high content of dietary fiber.
✦ Coriander seeds, when taken on a regular basis, lower the concentration of low density lipoproteins (also called bad cholesterol) and raise the levels of high density lipoproteins (also called good cholesterol).
✦ They prevent nausea and treat intestinal gas.
✦ Coriander seeds are an aromatic stimulant and increases appetite. They boost the digestive system and relieve the problem of flatulence.
✦ These seeds are known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties.


✦ You can substitute one tablespoon of shredded coriander leaves with one teaspoon each of chopped fresh parsley, tarragon, and dill. They will impart an almost similar flavor to the dishes.
✦ You may substitute one tablespoon of coriander seeds with one teaspoon each of caraway, fennel, and cumin seeds.
✦ You may use cilantro as coriander seeds substitute as it gives almost similar taste to the foods. In many recipes like dukkah, coconut paste, cucumber raita, and cardamom can replace coriander seeds.

Though there are some substitutes for coriander seeds available, yet they cannot give the taste that these seeds impart to dishes. The flavor added by coriander seeds is undefinable and is truly pleasant and without any match. Therefore, try to keep these seeds as a part of your spice collection in your kitchen because practically, nothing can substitute it.

Cumin Seeds Substitutes

Cumin is a flowering plant that is native to the region from the East Mediterranean to India. It is said that it is also native to Syria, where the temperature is hot and arid. The seeds are highly popular for their culinary benefits, while the oil is used for flavoring foods and making cosmetics! There are many Asian food recipes that are just incomplete without these seeds.


Cumin seeds are available all year round and they can be a great match when combined beans, chicken, couscous, eggplant, fish, lamb, peas, lentils, pork, rice, potatoes, sausages, soups, stews, curries, and eggs. They must be stored in a dry place and in some airtight container so that the aroma as well as the texture remains intact. I would suggest you to not find any substitute, especially if you want to enjoy the distinct and original flavor of the recipes that are ‘nothing’ without the original ingredients.

If you are still looking for substitutes, caraway and anise seeds can do the job. Use half as much caraway seeds in any recipes. You can combine caraway and anise seeds too. People also use chili powder as an alternative ingredient.

Amber cumin seeds are often substituted by the white seeds and the black ones are substituted by amber seeds. If you are looking for the best alternative, use cumin seed powder, which is easily available. However, this alternative loses out on the crisp texture that the seeds provide.

Types and Medical Benefits

Cumin seeds have an aromatic flavor which is distinctly bitter. They get its aroma due to its abundant oil content. They are spicy to taste and light in color. They are available in whole and ground forms with three colors, white, amber, and black. Amber colored varieties are the most common and popular as the black colored ones have a much more complex flavor, that many people dislike. I must add that cumin tea is also becoming hugely popular today.

Cumin seeds are primarily used in cooking various Middle Eastern, Indian, Mediterranean, and Mexican dishes. Curry recipes are almost incomplete without its distinct aroma. The seeds are full of several healthy nutritional, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. They are traditionally also used for their antispasmodic, diuretic, and carminative properties that can be used in treating several medical conditions like jaundice, dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, and indigestion. Cumin seeds are said to have anticancer and hypoglycemic properties too, and there is no data available on their toxicity and dosage limits. Hence, they are generally recognized as a safe herb for culinary purposes.