If you have never used coriander as a garnish for your cooking, you miss out on this incredible tasty herb.
If you are reading this article, I can strongly suspect that you might have used this herb before in your cooking and know how amazing it is.
Coriander, or Cilantro as it is sometimes referred to, is a plant used frequently in the culinary world to spice up dishes. The whole of this plant is valuable; both its leaves and seeds are used respectively to season food items.
The leaves of the coriander plant are usually used when they are fresh; they are cut into pieces or used the way they are. Some recipes require you to cook them with other ingredients, while some other recipes require you to sprinkle the leaves on your food while they are still fresh.
No matter how you use the leaves, they add a fresh and aromatic flavor to your food. The seeds of this plant are also beneficial, and they are used as spices in dishes. These seeds are grounded in powder form, and they have citrus and spicy flavor.
These seeds are best used when they are dried, and they are best used together with cumin. These seeds are toasted before they are used, so you can chew them or ground them and add them to your food.
It is important to note that the seeds and fresh leaves of the coriander have a slightly different taste when used, and it is not advisable to substitute one for the other.
Now to the business of the day, there might be times when you want to add a coriander plant to your dish, but you run out of coriander at home, or you can get some at the supermarket. Well, you do not need to freak out or cook without this herb.
This article will offer you some of the alternatives you can use to give your dish the fantastic flavor and aroma that coriander adds to your dish. Some of the substitutes are very similar to coriander, some might have slight differences, but they all offer you the best options in the absence of coriander leaves or seeds.
I mentioned earlier that the leaves and seeds are used differently and add a slightly different taste and flavor to your food. The fresh leaves of the coriander are more pungent, and the grounded seeds or leaves have a milder taste.
If your recipe requires you to use ground coriander, you will need ground coriander seeds or ground leaves. You will mainly use this powder coriander for your roasted veggies, soup, stew, baked goods, curry, or grilled meat. The following are the best options when looking for a substitute for ground coriander seeds and leaves.
Cumin compliments coriander seeds in every way, and it might be the natural option for you to run to when you are looking for a substitute for ground coriander seeds. The fantastic thing is that most recipes with coriander seeds will have cumin powder as one of the options.
If this is the case, you can do without your coriander powder if you do not have any. Cumin has the same characteristics as coriander seeds, it has a nutty flavor, and it is spicy as well. Cumin is gotten from the seeds of a leafy herb plant known as Cuminum cyninum, and it is a member of the parsley family.
These seeds are dried and grounded into powder, and it is commonly used to spice up and flavor dishes. It has a less lemony flavor compared to coriander, and it has a more peppery taste. If you are using this as a substitute for coriander, it is advisable to use a lesser amount than the recommended amount for coriander.
Cumin is used in many Indian and Mexican cuisines, and apart from its excellent taste, it also comes with some valuable health benefits. Cumin seeds contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals and the destructions they cause to your body system.
You can use cumin to treat diarrhea, control your blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, use it for weight loss. It possesses anti-inflammatory effects, and it has anti-cancer properties that prevent cancer cells from multiplying.
2. Fennel Seeds
Fennel is a herb plant that is common in the culinary world. Like coriander, its leaves, bulbs, and leaves are edible and added to different dishes in different ways. The fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, but they are greener than cumin seeds.
Fennel seeds have a sweet aroma and a flavor that can elevate your dish. They add an earthy flavor to your dish, and they are oval in shape. You can add these seeds the way they are, or you can ground or crush them before adding them to your dish, depending on the specifications of your recipe.
You can use fennel seeds mostly for seasoning your meat, seafood, and soups, and stew. You can also use them in baked goods to get the similar flavor that coriander offers. If you hope to ground the seeds at home before using them, it is advisable to toast them first before grinding them. Toasting helps to bring out their incredible taste and flavor.
These tiny seeds have a concentration of vitamins and minerals like potassium, selenium, iron, Vitamin C, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and selenium. These are health properties that you surely do not want to miss out on.
These seeds help reduce asthma, regulate blood pressure, improve eyesight, purify the blood, reduce your chances of getting cancer, and be suitable for treating acne. This is not just a good substitute for coriander because of its taste, but it also has many health benefits to tap into.
3. Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds are gotten from a herbaceous plant called Crum, and it belongs to the carrot family. These seeds are gotten from the caraway plant, and they are known by other names such as Persian Cumin and Meridian Fennel.
Caraway seeds are highly aromatic, and they have a slight licorice flavor. They also have an earthy flavor with a hint of pepper and citrus. These are some of the characteristics that coriander has.
Caraway seeds are usually used in baking, and they are the perfect replacement for coriander seeds in any baked goods. The most common baked good you can find them in is rye bread or Jewish rye bread, as it is sometimes called.
You can also use them as substitutes for coriander in curries, sausages, soups, and vegetables. You can also use them to brine meat items and pickling in the absence of coriander seeds. These seeds are dried and grounded or crunched.
If you hope to get the best flavor out of these seeds, it is essential to toast them before you ground them. Apart from their aromatic goodness, these seeds have good health benefits for the body.
They contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidants effects that help to drive away free radicals in the body. They help you with weight loss, they aid digestion, and if you are struggling with fresh breath, adding these seeds to your meal can help as a breath freshener.
4. Curry powder
When you come across curry, I am sure the first thing that comes to your mind is Indian cuisine. Well, you are not far from the truth; curry powder was made to resemble the masala spices used in Indian cuisine, which was a combination of different spices. Although it was meant to evoke the feeling of Indian food, it is not actually used in Indian cuisine.
The curry powder was then sold to British colonial traders, and it became popular in the West, especially among those who will want to recreate Indian food. Curry powder is a mixture of different spices, and they are no standard ingredients used for this spice.
But some of the primary and essential ingredients that you will find in curry powder are ginger, clove, cardamom, mustard, red and black peppers, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, and bay leaf. And you can also get mild curry or hot curry powder.
Its distinctive yellow color is something you can never miss out on. This is a perfect substitute for coriander because coriander is one of the core ingredients used to make curry powder. This spice has a combination of both sweet and savory flavors, and it has an earthy and vibrant taste.
You can use curry powder for your soup, sauces, stews, vegetables, meats, marinades, potato salad, eggs, and even hamburgers. With all the combinations of different herbs, you can be sure to get a great flavor from using this spice.
Apart from the complex, incredible flavors, it possesses a lot of health benefits that you might not want to miss out on. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can improve your heart’s health. It also has properties that can reduce your chances of getting cancer.
If you are struggling with chronic conditions like heart disease, the presence of antioxidants can help reduce the risk and effects of such diseases. You can get curry powder on the shelf of any supermarket, and better still, you can make it at home by yourself.
If you are interested in mixing spices and creating your own curry powder, you can look at this recipe to guide you achieve your aim.
5. Garam masala
Garam masala is a more vibrant and fresher version of curry powder. It is a seasoning used in Indian cuisine, and you can find it in powder or paste form. Garam masala is a blend of spices and herbs, and there is no single recipe for this seasoning. This seasoning requires you to use fresh ingredients, which you need to use within a few days.
It contains both aromatic and sweet spices, and the essential ingredients for garam masala are cumin, clove, black pepper, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon. Different recipes and ingredients added to these depend on which part of India you find yourself in, and the recipes also differ from one family or region to the other.
These seeds are dried and roasted before they are grounded and added to dishes. This seasoning adds some warmth and heat from the pepper used, and it also has some sweet and floral notes that add vibrancy to your meal.
One piece of information that could be useful to you is that garam masala is added chiefly towards the end of the cooking time to maintain its flavor and taste. Some recipes might require you to sprinkle the masala on the food after you have finished cooking.
Garam masala is best used for dishes that contain meat and seafood. You can also use it for your curry, stew, and soup. This seasoning provides similar health benefits that you fill find in curry powder, and it might differ slightly depending on the different ingredients added to it.
6. Cardamom Seed
Cardamom seeds are gotten from different cardamom plants, and they are used as spices in a lot of Indian and Indonesian cuisines. These seeds are gotten from green pods, and they are grounded and used to spice dishes.
Cardamom seeds have an earthy and flowery flavor. These seeds lose their flavor very quickly, so it is advisable to buy the seeds and ground them just before using them. If you buy the ground versions that you find on the supermarket shelves, you might get the ones that have slightly lost their taste.
This plant belongs to the ginger family, and it has a distinctive fruity aroma, and they are the best coriander substitute for dessert recipes. Because of its sweet and spicy flavor, it is best for dishes that have a spicy-sweet flavor.
Cardamom seeds are used for chocolate, stews, soups, biryani, baked goods, and fruit salads. The anti-inflammatory qualities protect you from chronic diseases, it helps you with digestive problems, and these seeds contain compounds that can help you fight cancer.
Fresh coriander leaves or Cilantro
The fresh leaves of the coriander leaves are usually referred to as Cilantro. So it is easy to be confused and think that it is another plant. The fresh leaves are used differently to the grounded leaves and seeds and bear different results.
And it is important to re-emphasize that it is not advisable to substitute fresh leaves for the grounded seeds or vice versa when you come it in a recipe. This is because they might give you different results than you expect.
The following herbs and plants below are some of the options you can use as a substitute for your fresh coriander leaves, also known as Cilantro.
Sage is a perennial plant that belongs to the mint family. Garden sage, as it is sometimes called, is used for culinary purposes. This plant has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste. The leaves of this plant are grey-green, and they are used to add flavor to dishes.
The leaves have a slight resemblance in taste to the coriander and can be used as a substitute for coriander. You can use them raw or cooked, and they can also be pickled. You can use them as a marinade, and you will find some people using them for their burgers.
These leaves are best used for pork and poultry meat, and they can also be used to flavor ice cream, baked goods, frittatas, omelets, pizza, and refreshing salads. These can be sprinkled on your dish, and you can cook them together with the food or extract the oil and use it to flavor your food items.
These leaves contain many vitamins and minerals, and they are loaded and rich with antioxidants that drive away free radicals in your body’s system. This herb is beneficial for women approaching and experiencing menopause, the estrogen-like properties that ease menopause symptoms.
Sage leaves also help improve your oral health, reduce blood sugar levels, support brain and memory health. Some of its properties also help lower bad cholesterol in your system and protect against certain cancers like cervix, kidney, breast, liver, colon, skin, and mouth cancers.
This plant is sometimes referred to as garden parsley or French Parsley. It is a herb that belongs to the parsley family and is used for culinary purposes. This plant has a sweet and mild flavor and is preferably used in cuisine with mild flavors so that its taste won’t be overpowered.
The leaves are green and bear resemblances with parsley and coriander leaves. This plant has slight anise and licorice flavor. You can use chervil as a substitute for coriander in dishes like salads, soups, and especially egg dishes.
It is advisable to add these leaves to your dish towards the end of cooking to avoid them from overcooking. They have a mild flavor, and cooking them too much can make them lose their flavor in the dish.
These leaves are added to tea and tonic for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to relieve fluid retention. You can also use it to treat hypertension and as a soothing digestion herb.
You can use this plant to treat menstrual cramps, soothe joint pains, lower blood pressure, manage gout symptoms, treat infections, support liver functions, and as a stimulant and mood-lifter.
9. Eryngium foetidum
Eryngium foetidum is a herb plant that is also known as Mexican coriander and culantro. Culantro is a stronger version in taste than cilantro, it has a more pungent aroma, and it is easier to grow than cilantro.
If you are looking for a substitute for cilantro, cilantro will perfectly do the job because both plants have a lot of similar characteristics. When using cilantro, you have to note that you have to use a lesser quantity than the one specified for cilantro because it has a stronger flavor.
Because of the pungent nature of cilantro, you can add it at any time of cooking, it can handle the high heat from the cooking, and it won’t lose its flavor, unlike cilantro, which you have to add at the end of cooking. Although culantro and cilantro have similar tastes, their leaves do not have any resemblance.
You can use culantro in soups, stews, curry, meats, chutneys, and salads. Culantro also has medicinal uses and benefits. These leaves have a calming effect that helps with seizures, and it is used to soothe headaches.
It helps lower blood pressure and treats diabetes, malaria fever, constipation, flu, infertility, postpartum abdominal pains, vaginal infections, childbirth complications, and pneumonia.
Parsley has many similarities with coriander, and the leaves have so many similarities that you can mistake one for the other. This similarity is not just in the physical appearance but also in the taste. Although it does not have a slightly peppery taste, it has the same refreshing lemony flavor as coriander.
If you are looking for a milder substitute for coriander, parsley will perfectly do the job. You will find many dishes that make use of this herb, and it can be added to your dish just a few minutes before taking it down from the stove or sprinkling it on top of the food after cooking.
Most recipes prefer to sprinkle the raw parsley leaves on the dish after cooking to retain that fresh lemony flavor. You can add parsley to your salad, baked goods, desserts, ice cream, pasta, soup, sauces, and seafood.
Adding parsley to your meals is suitable for your body’s system because it can help regulate blood sugars; it is beneficial for your heart’s health, improves your kidney’s health, and boosts your body’s immune functioning.
Dill is a culinary herb that belongs to the celery family. It is an aromatic herb and has a similar flavor to celery and fennel. This plant is used to flavor and spice up food items, and it is a good substitute for coriander leaves.
Dill plays a vital role in pickling foods, and it is used in a variety of other dishes. You can use this herb for your boiled or grilled fish; you can add it to your stew, soups, sauces, and vegetables.
Dill can be used to treat gastrointestinal issues as well as to relieve pain. You can also use this herb to treat indigestion, head lice, anorexia, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and insomnia. If you hope to protect your bones from degradation, you can also use this herb to your advantage.
Lovage is a herb plant popularly used for many Southern European cuisines. They have a fragrance similar to that of celery; both its leaves and seeds are useful for culinary purposes. This plant is also known as sea parsley, and you can use it for your soup, stew, and sauces.
The leaves tend to have a high salt content, so it would be important not to use too many leaves not to make your dish too salty. This herb is best used as a substitute for coriander when serving salads, and they add a fresh and savory taste to the salad.
You can use this plant as a relief for lung ailments, it improves your urinary health, and it contains some anti-bacterial properties that help to fight bacterias in the system. You can also use this herb to treat kidney stones, rheumatism, jaundice, and malaria.
You can never go wrong with these cool refreshing mint leaves, and this plat is best associated with fresh breath because of the cool sensation that it causes. Well, this plant is also a perfect substitute for coriander in your dish.
Mint has an intensely aromatic and spicy flavor, and they are a tender herb with delicate stems. These leaves are the best substitute for coriander, especially during summer; their after cooling effect is something you will undoubtedly appreciate.
You can use mint leaves for your chutneys, stuffings, salads, chocolate, and even mint tea. These leaves have fantastic health benefits. If you are struggling with a good appetite, adding these leaves to your meal plan can help improve your appetite.
Mint leaves can also be used to treat headaches, dizziness, digestion, nasal congestion, dental health issues, and heartburn. Most recipes will suggest that you add these leaves to your meal after cooking rather than when the food is on fire. This helps the leaves to maintain their fresh taste and cooling effect.
If you are looking for a low-calorie replacement for your coriander, you can rely on celery as a perfect substitute. Celery has an earthy taste with a mild and strong taste that reminds you of raw or green onions.
It also has a kale flavor which most people might find unpleasing. The fantastic thing is that you bring out the sweetness of this plant when you cook it. So unlike most of the vegetables stated here, it does not lose its flavor when cooked.
The celery plant has a lot of water and looks like the perfect substitute for coriander in a summer salad. Celery is used as a spice in many cuisines, and its stalks and leaves are all useful. You can add celery to your soup, salad, juice, and other vegetables like potatoes.
Celery contains many minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins like A, B, C, K. celery has anti-inflammation properties that can help to fight and reduce inflammation in your body.
It has low-calorie contents, and it can lower your cholesterol levels. It reduces blood pressure, prevents urinary tract infections, reduces some asthma symptoms, boosts your immune system, and manages diabetes.
Tarragon is a green herb used in the culinary world; it adds a subtle licorice flavor when used in dishes. Tarragon belongs to the sunflower plant family, and it is cultivated for its aromatic flavor. This plant has glossy and skinny leaves, and it is used in a lot of French cuisines.
Tarragon leaves also have a hint of vanilla and aniseed flavors. There are usually two varieties of this herb, the Russian variety and the French variety, which has a stronger flavor and is more common.
The best dishes to include this herb is chicken dishes, salads, eggs, and fish. Tarragon contains few calories and carbs and is the best option for those who want to cut back on the carbs and calorie intake.
Tarragon improves your insulin sensitivity which can help reduce blood sugar, and this herb can also help regulate your sleeping pattern and improve your sleep. Loss of appetite might be caused by the imbalance of leptin levels in your system. Some properties of tarragon can stimulate your appetite, making you eat more and better.
Basil is a herb that belongs to the mint family of plants, and it is used in a lot of cuisines worldwide. Basil has a sweet smell with a pungent aroma, and it slightly tastes like anise. The leaves are tender, and there are many varieties of this plant.
Some of the varieties of basil plants include lettuce basil, cinnamon basil, sweet basil, Thai basil, and Bush or Greek basil. All varieties work perfectly as a substitute for coriander. Basil is leafy, green, flavorful, and used for food seasoning.
Because of its pungent nature, it is good to add a lesser amount than the amount of coriander stated in your recipe. Basil adds zest to meat seasonings, tomato dishes, eggplants, sauces, soups, and stuffings.
If you are using fresh basil in your recipe, you need to use only the leaves while taking out the stems. To maintain the flavor and color of the leaves, it is best to add them at the final step of cooking. It is essential to use this herb in moderation.
Too much consumption of basil can cause blood thinning, and basil can reduce your blood pressure and blood sugar. This means that if you are taking medications to help reduce your blood levels, you might have to consult with your doctor to reduce your dosage.
On the brighter side, basil helps to reduce stress and memory loss. You can use it to reduce depression caused by chronic stress, and it prevents certain cancers like colon, breast, and pancreas cancers.
Clove is an aromatic plant widely used for its spicy flavor. The dried flower buds are aromatic and spicy, these buds are harvested before they reach maturity, and they are dried and used for seasoning.
Cloves have an intense taste and aroma, and it has a pungent and sweet flavor and a slightly bitter flavor. It is best to add little cloves when using it as a substitute for coriander; it has a more pungent aroma than coriander.
Cloves are the best substitute for coriander when preparing dessert meals, and you can also use them for savory dishes. Ground cloves can be used to flavor meat recipes, rice dishes, and sauces.
Cloves are rich in nutrients, fibers, and minerals. They are high in antioxidants that help rid the body of free radicals, and they can help protect you from getting cancer. Cloves have antimicrobial properties which help to kill bacterias and even promote oral health.
The eugenol compound in cloves helps promote your liver’s health, and cloves may also regulate blood sugar. If you are struggling with stomach ulcers, adding cloves to your meal plan might be a good idea because cloves reduce stomach ulcers.
Oregano is a plant that belongs to the mint family of plants, and it has a flavor that resembles thyme. It has a pungent and earthy flavor and a slightly bitter flavor. Oregano is used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines.
Oregano adds a pungent aroma and flavor to your food, and you can add it to your stews and sauces. Because of its pungent nature, you can add it earlier on during the cooking process, and it will maintain its taste and flavor.
Because of its strong aromatic flavor, it would be better to add a little quantity to your food to avoid overpowering the other ingredients. You can use oregano in place of coriander for dishes like pizza, pasta, fish, hamburgers, chicken, and beans.
Oregano possesses antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help to fight against free radicals and bacterias in the body. You can also take oregano to relieve your depression symptoms and manage your diabetes.
Healthy consumption of oregano can help protect your heart from diseases and lower cholesterol levels in your body.
19. Lime Basil
Lime basil is a herb used to flavor lots of dishes. It has a zesty flavor with a sweet and citrus aroma. Lime basil bears a lot of similarities with coriander because of the zesty and citrus flavor and aroma.
This herb is suitable for sauces, fish, salads, and chicken, dessert, vegetables; you can even add it to your iced tea. Lime basil is very suitable for savory dishes because of its peppery lime taste. The taste and scent of lime basil become more noticeable when it is chopped or minced.
Lime basil is quite hard to come by, so you might not find them easily in every supermarket.
Well, your decision to use a substitute for coriander might be because you ran out of coriander at home. Or it could be that you do not like the taste of coriander, and you are looking for something equivalent to take its place on the list of ingredients stated on your recipe list.
Whatever your reasons might be, there are plenty of options for you to pick from, and they all offer you an incredible experience. You can feel free to explore most of the options stated here at different times, and I hope this was helpful to you.