8 Great Coriander Substitutes That Should Do The Magic!

There are numerous instances where we realize that we haven't replenished the stocks of our favorite spices and condiments. It is both annoying and painful, considering that cooking meals require the presence of the right ingredients.


As of recent, people are searching for the perfect coriander substitute. I do believe that many regions and places in the world find this particular ingredient an essential part of their dishes and delicacies. Of course, the leaves and seeds of coriander are a great mixture to enliven the taste of several menus. I do use them from time to time, and they never failed me.

At this point, it would really be an advantage if you can know the potential alternatives for coriander if it is absent in your kitchen. Based on my inquiries and personal experiments, here are the ingredients that can work well on behalf of coriander.

Before we start, allow me to tell you that coriander and cilantro are derived from the same source: the Coriandrum sativum. Specifically, coriander is the seed, while cilantro refers to the leaf. The latter is quite popular in South Asian and Mexican delicacies. But overall, their purpose and use are interchangeable. That's something that you have to keep in mind here.

All parts of the coriander plant are edible. However, the most commonly used are the leaves and the seeds.

With all these things given, allow me to introduce you to some of the best coriander substitutes.

1. Cumin

1. Cumin

It is inarguable that cumin is a popular spice. It is derived from grounding the dried seed of the cumin plant or the Cuminum cyminum. Many delicacies in the world today are using cumin. But most of the time, it is used in recipes that involve curries, chillies, stews, and soups. A myriad of meat dishes can also amplify their flavors when cumin is used.

Some countries in the world treat cumin the same way as they treat pepper. It can revamp the flavor of a particular dish, which, in turn, makes it more delectable to the taste.

As a substitute for coriander, cumin is definitely accessible. It is a common kitchen spice, which allows anyone to get it on their local stores and market. Your spice racks should have cumin because it is an ingredient with versatile use.

Generally, cumin has almost the same flavor platter as coriander. It is spicy, nutty, and earthy. There's a certain hint of warmth that you can taste from this ingredient, too. Even though it is just standalone cumin, it can already work as a replacement for coriander.

2. Garam Masala

2. Garam Masala

Garam masala is a popular traditional Indian spice. It is definitely one of the finest alternatives that you have for coriander (and cumin, as well).

This one is not only composed of a single plant or spice. In fact, it is an aggregation of different spices that makes it extremely flavor. It has a fully earthy and warm taste. It can rejuvenate any dull recipe. If you want your soup or stew to gain some extra flavor, you might want to use this particular spice.

Specifically, garam masala is a typical combination of peppercorn, cloves, turmeric, coriander, cumin, mace, bay leaf, and cinnamon. At this point, you can already see why it is a good option when coriander is visibly absent in your kitchen. It includes coriander, which is already a proof that it can fill the position of coriander in a particular dish.

However, keep in mind that garam masala is still a spice. Its overall flavor is quite different from the plain coriander. Therefore, I do recommend that you use garam masala in small amounts only, especially if you are going to use it as a substitute for the coriander seeds.

Here is a video that demonstrates how you can make garam masala in your own kitchen!

3. Caraway

3. Caraway

If you want a replacement that has almost a similar taste to coriander, you need to choose the caraway seed. Regardless of the level of receptiveness of your tongue, there's no denying that caraway and coriander do almost taste the same.

As a result, this herb can be used an alternative to coriander right away. Unlike garam masala, you can expect minimal or no changes in the taste of the dish that you are making.

Both caraway and coriander came from a single family: Apiaceae plant. The latter includes some of the most popular spices and herbs today, such as fennel, celery, and parsley. But of course, these plants have different flavors as compared to coriander and caraway.

Let me emphasize that the caraway has the same aroma and fragrance as coriander. This includes pinene and linalool. Perhaps this is the very reason as to why caraway mimics the overall taste and scent of coriander.

Specifically, caraway is earthy but has a distinctly sweet flavor. As a result, some gourmets in the world use this particular herb on desserts, vegetable delicacies, and casseroles. Some baked goods are also compatible with caraway.

Moreover, the fruits or seeds of the caraway plant can also be substituted for coriander. These yields are either sold whole or ground. You may want to minimize the amount of these fruits and seeds when using them as a substitute for coriander.

4. Curry Powder

4. Curry Powder

The last option that you can try is curry powder. I am pretty sure that finding this one is not difficult. After all, it is a common spice sold in almost every market in the world.

Most of the curry powders have included coriander on their ingredients, which is an understandable reason why you can use it in exchange for coriander. Fenugreek, turmeric, chili, and ginger are the other herbs and spices that are used in the making of curry powder.

Curry powder is capable of bringing extra appeal and depth to various recipes. It can induce a sweet and savory tang because of the number of the rich flavor that it has. You can use it on vegetable dishes and casseroles.

Since curry powder has a strong flavor, I do recommend that you reduce its amount if you are going to use it as a substitute for coriander. Keep in mind that even in small amounts, the curry powder is already capable of affecting the entire taste of the food.

The best way to do is to add half of the original amount of the coriander. For instance, if the recipe requires you to include two teaspoons of coriander seed to the recipe, you can replace it with one teaspoon of curry powder. If you deem that such amount is too much, you are still free to reduce it. By doing so, you can achieve your desired results.

5. Parsley

5. Parsley

The green herb we call parsley is also an exceptional substitute for coriander. I already mentioned it earlier that this one belongs to the same plant family as coriander.

It is notable that parsley harbor a slightly bitter taste. But in general, it is still fresh and earthy. It can improve the flavor and appeal of your dishes. Primarily, this is the reason the parsley is a perfect substitute to coriander or cilantro.

Furthermore, one can easily notice that the green coloration of the parsley leaves is quite similar to cilantro. The two are seemingly a match made in heaven.

Despite these similarities, you need to know that parsley doesn't have a citrus tang that is present on cilantro. If you are aiming to get the same undertone, I suggest that you add lemon peel or lemon juice to the recipe. In this way, the parsley will never be dull addition.

Also, keep in mind that parsley has different varieties. The Italian parsley, which is characterized by flat leaves and curled leaves, can work as alternatives for coriander.

6. Basil

6. Basil

I need to emphasize that basil can alter the flavor of various recipes and delicacies. That's why when using this as a substitute, make sure that you know how to work with it.

Basil is available in different types. Each of these variations can be used to replace coriander, which is pretty much the same as parsley. For instance, the Thai basil is a unique variation of basil because of its distinct flavor. Specifically, it is spicy but has an undertone that is similar to licorice. You can use Thai basil to be a replacement for coriander and cilantro. However, this doesn't work on various dishes. You can only use it in curries and soups.

Fortunately, you can use basil as a garnish. Just chop it and garnish it to the meat or any food that you want. It will give the latter a hint of freshness and brightness. In doing so, you can say no flavor has been compromised.

7. Cloves

7. Cloves

I was pretty stunned when a friend told me that I should use cloves to replace coriander in a particular soup recipe that I made. Of course, it is among the last ingredients that I could think of that can substitute coriander. Little did I know that what my friend suggested to me was right all along. I did follow her even though I had a lot of qualms, and I was never regretful about that decision.

Cloves offer earthy but aromatic flavor. It is commonly used in Asian delicacies because of the depth of its undertones. One could say that cloves are somehow comparable to anise when it comes to its scent and taste. In some recipes, like stews and soups, cloves can be used as an alternative to coriander.

However, if you are looking for the zesty and citrus undertone of coriander, cloves don't have that. The best thing that you can do here is to add pints of lemon juice to the recipe if you need it to have a citrus and earthy tang at the same time. Mix the cloves and lemon, and you can somehow replicate the flavor of coriander.

Delicacies that involved roasted meat can suit well with cloves. You can also use it as a garnish, too. Because of its moderate taste, you are free to use the same amount of cloves as you are using coriander.

8. Mixture Of Herbs

8. Mixture Of Herbs

This could be your last resort. Using a blend of specific herbs and spices can actually replicate the flavor of coriander. You just need to make sure that the ingredients that you use are close to its flavor and nuances.

A good example would be a mixture of the herbs of tarragon, oregano, parsley, and dill. While it is true that there are differences in their flavors, it is interesting enough that they can work in harmony when matching the taste of coriander.

You can always experiment in your kitchen. If a particular substitute feels lacking in some specific undertones, you can add other ingredients that would compensate for it. There are a plethora of ingredients out there that can match certain profiles of coriander. Lemon can match its citrus undertone, for example. Right now, I can tell you that the number of combinations that you can do is pretty limitless!


These are among the finest coriander substitute that you can get today. They can provide the same effect to the dish as the coriander--as long as you use them in proper amounts. Using them excessively or minimally will result in a gradual alteration to the flavor and smell of your delicacy. Therefore, it is just prim and proper to use them with caution. In this way, you won't ruin your food.

Finally, I recommend that you are free to experiment. Some of the most delectable recipes out there were discovered after countless days in spending the kitchen. Try to find what suits your platter, and who knows, you might stumble on something extraordinary!

That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

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