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Coriander Spice Substitute

Different spices make our dishes excel in flavor, and some occur more frequently than others. And one of those famous options we always sought for an impressive taste effect is coriander spice. Its fullness and depth are noticed in loads of dishes and why the ingredient pops up in numerous cuisines. Plus, it’s one of those ingredients we easily find around us, making it dependable in most homes.


But this factor can also put us in a tight spot when you run out. And because you’re used to its flexibility in special situations like pickling, recreating its effect may seem hard. But coriander spice has a myriad of substitutes around you. And with them, you can impart your recipes with a similar flavor using a different spice replacement altogether.

What is Coriander Spice?

Coriander spice comes from the Coriandrumsativum L. plant, a commonly grown herb in numerous regions. It’s why you’ll find it in Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cuisines, among others. The herb is related to the parsley family, and all its parts are edible. But the most popularly utilized areas are the seeds bearing their name and the leaves, called ‘cilantro’ meaning ‘coriander leaves’ in Spanish. And while both parts can be used whole or fresh, they’re also dried and pulverized into a fine texture, which comes to be termed as ‘coriander spice,’ ‘ground coriander,’ or ‘coriander powder.’

Coriander Spice in Recipes

The plant from which this ingredient is derived is known for its pleasing floral aroma and mild lemony flavor. And this quality is softer in the seeds, which are first toasted before turning to a powder. As such, the condiment can be sprinkled over numerous dishes and recipes. And it’s a versatile ingredient that works in tons of cuisines.

The use of coriander spice is almost as old as human history. And as a cooking ingredient, it has been traced as far back as the Egyptian era. Its culinary advantages aren’t so different today, as you’ll find it in popular methods like bringing and pickling. It’s also a handy way to infuse a citrusy flavor into baked goods and desserts. Plus, you can use it as a spicy hint in cold recipes, raw dishes, meat, fish, and eggs.

This fantastic flavor and aroma profile is also harnessed into many other cooking processes. And it’s why coriander spice turns up in many dishes, some of which are;

Substitutes for Coriander Spice

Coriander spice is undoubtedly a handy way to boost a recipe’s flavor. But you may need to find a replacement for it due to various reasons. While the most common cause is you ran out of stock, others may be bothered by its intense aroma. And in some cases, you may have someone with allergies and don’t want to risk adding ground coriander to the dish.

But these substitutes suggested below can offer a way out of a coriander spice jam. And while some are similar in flavor and aroma, others provide a different approach in one of these areas. So, when in need of an alternative to this aromatic ingredient, the following options can be of great help;

Ground Caraway

Ground Caraway

In times when you’ve run out of ground coriander and need a close substitute, ground caraway makes an excellent option. These seeds carry a similar lemony flavor as ground coriander, so they’re the perfect equal substitutes for ground coriander. Plus, ground caraway is easy to find, so they’re a quick-fix solution that’ll deliver similar results. And you can use it just as flexibly and add it to marinades, sauces, stews, and many other recipes.

Black Cumin Powder

Black Cumin Powder

One thing that makes cumin powder a fantastic substitute for ground coriander is they’re a perfect pair. Many recipes combine both spices to create a complex blend of lemony and nutty flavor in their cooking. But cumin powder can still act as a suitable replacement for ground coriander, provided you use the black variety. This type offers the best sweetness with a close semblance to ground coriander. Note that only ¾ part of it is best as a replacement since cumin is hotter. Still, it works in all situations, including sauces, stews, dips, stir-fries, and even grilled dishes.

Curry Powder

Curry Powder

Ground cumin is a common addition to numerous spice-mixes globally. And curry powder happens to be one of the most commonly found Asian and Indian varieties. But this convenience alone isn’t why it’s on this list. Curry powder combines numerous familiar herbs such including cumin, turmeric, ginger, and, as you’ve guessed, coriander. And the blend of ingredients balances the spiciness of coriander, making it perfect if you wish to tone down its effects. Use little of it, though- about ¼ parts to replace ground coriander. And note that the yellowness contributed by turmeric may influence the dish’s color. But it’ll still turn out tasty so, no loss there.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala

This famous Indian spice mix is another option containing ground coriander to work as a substitute for many dishes. It’s also void of turmeric, so no bother from the chance of yellowing in your cooking. Garam masala contains other ingredients like black peppercorns, cardamom pods, mace, and cinnamon. But its combination of cumin and ground coriander drives it closer to the desired flavor in this case. When using, you’ll still need to keep the other spices in mind, so the best way is to add them in small amounts, adjusting them to taste.

Ground Fennel

Ground Fennel

You can also consider ground fennel seeds as a last resort when seeking a ground coriander substitute. This option offers a sweet undertone that works in casseroles, curries, and vegetables. You can also employ ground fennel in desserts and baked goods, especially bread and puddings. And it makes an excellent ground coriander replacement in salads and roasted vegetables, where it also contributes a good dose of depth. Use ground fennel seeds in equal amounts as ground coriander when making a dish. Or, you can add in minor quantities, adjusting to your taste preference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you substitute turmeric for coriander?

Not as a standalone ingredient. Turmeric alone doesn’t provide a similar taste as ground coriander. And while its presence in curry powder- a common substitute for coriander powder- turmeric mainly adds a yellow color and earthy flavor to the spice mix.

Can you substitute cardamom for coriander?

In a pinch, yes. Cardamom and coriander seeds share a slight similarity in lemony flavor. As such, ground coriander is an ideal option for this switch.

Is ground coriander an herb or spice?

Ground coriander is made from the toasted and pulverized seeds of the coriander plant, making it a spice. But the leafy plant itself is used fresh and is considered more of a herb.


Everyone quickly warms up to using coriander spice in their cooking. And it’s why finding a substitute may seem like a wild goose chase. But these options listed here make an excellent replacement for it. And with them, you can always dazzle your guests with the familiar flavor of the ingredient even when you’ve exhausted it.