My first tryst with coriander powder was at an Indian restaurant when I ordered Chicken Tikka. On speaking with the chef, I discovered that the earthy taste I relished was of coriander powder. Since then, coriander powder has been a regular staple at my home until recently, when I ran out of it while preparing a feast.
I had two options, freak out or search for a substitute. I chose the 2nd option, and to my surprise, I found numerous substitutes for coriander powder. The list below covers all the substitutes and how to use them.
What does coriander powder taste like?
Coriander powder has a sweet and earthy taste with mild citrus notes. The taste is somewhere in between sage and lemon. Since the flavors are mild, coriander powder works well with numerous spices. While coriander can be used in many forms, like fresh coriander, and coriander seeds, this post will cover the substitutes for coriander powder.
Why Replace Coriander Powder?
There could be several reasons why you might want to replace coriander powder. Some people might not like the taste or the aroma of coriander. Others might have run out of it, or it might not be available in their region. Whatever the reason, it’s always handy to have a few substitutes that you can use in your dishes.
1. Caraway seeds powder
Powdered caraway seeds mimic the earthy flavor and nutty aroma of coriander powder pretty well. According to this report, the powder offers protein, essential oils, iron, and numerous antioxidants. Not to mention the other taste notes like pepper, citrus, and anise. Couple that with the high essential oil content of the powder, and you get a similar taste profile by using it in half the quantity of coriander powder.
2. Cumin seeds powder
How about an alternative that offers a sweet taste with a nutty aroma?
That is what cumin seeds powder offers you. A slightly spicy undernote makes it a perfect addition to any recipe. Of Course, the earthy note is equally visible as well.
Cumin seeds have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects, according to Oregon University’s report. Replace one tablespoon of coriander powder with 3/4th tablespoon of cumin seeds powder, and you will be surprised with the similar taste.
3. Garam Masala
Garam Masala is a spice mix native to India. It consists of many popular spices like peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. Numerous ingredients impart a warm, slightly sweet taste with a peppery, nutty, and earthy fragrance. The floral aftertaste certainly makes it better than many other spice mixes. The similarity of taste makes it an excellent substitute. Since it consists of numerous spices, including coriander, it is rich in nutrients. Ideally, Garam masala should be used in 1/4th of the quantity of coriander powder.
4. Curry powder
How about a spice powder that has been in use for 4000 years?
That’s curry powder for you. Curry powder primarily consists of spices like
Since it consists of coriander itself, it is an excellent replacement. Add half a teaspoon of curry powder instead of 1 teaspoon of coriander powder. Its aromatic flavors are slightly sweet with a hint of citrus and a herbal aftertaste. Various curry powder applications include sauces, marinades, stews, soups, and, as the name suggests, curries. The confluence of various spices also imparts high nutritional value.
5. Fennel powder
If you want a sweeter alternative to coriander powder, go with fennel powder. It offers sweet, anise-like taste notes. To top it, fennel offers calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin C. The mildly sweet aroma and anise-like flavor make it perfect for recipes, soups, curries, casseroles, and even root vegetables. Moreover, fennel powder can be used as a garnish, making it an excellent coriander replacement. It can be used in a 1:1 ratio with coriander powder, making it an excellent alternative.
6. Lemongrass powder
Lemongrass powder is probably the option with the most taste notes on this list. It has citrus, woody, floral, and herbal taste notes. All these are more or less common with coriander powder. Despite so many notes in lemongrass powder, one note that is hard to miss is the peppery note. Since lemongrass powder can be substituted in equal proportions, using it is simpler.
A study published on researchgate states that lemongrass offers fiber and protein. Its antioxidation and anti-inflammatory properties make it better for your gut. When you run out of coriander powder, it’s best to substitute it with such a healthy ingredient.
7. Curry paste
Want a readymade substitute that you can store for long?
If yes, curry paste is that option. Curry paste usually consists of various spices (including coriander) ground together to get the paste texture. Spices not only add to the taste but also add a nutty aroma and nutritional value. Moreover, curry paste is available in various flavors. For added aroma, black cumin seeds are used.
Paste form also makes it easy to use in recipes like seafood, vegetables, noodles, soup, etc. Quantity varies based on the recipe and the quantity of other ingredients.
8. Herb mixture
Have you ever tasted tandoori chicken?
If yes, you would notice the use of various herbs in it. One can use this herb mixture in the same proportion as coriander powder, not only in tandoori chicken but in multiple delicacies and even substitute coriander powder. Often, restaurants and chefs use herb mixtures to get that authentic Indian taste and spicy aroma rather than individual herbs.
For anyone curious about the ingredients, it includes lavender, thyme, cilantro, mint, curry leaves, and coriander.
The long shelf life of such herb mixtures and easy storage makes it one of the most versatile coriander powder substitutes.
9. Oregano powder
At first thought, oregano powder might not seem like a replacement for coriander powder. That changes when you consider its subtle taste notes. You have minty and earthy notes, which make it similar to coriander powder. The slightly aromatic nature of oregano further makes it similar to coriander powder.
The University of Rochester states that oregano offers calcium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and other crucial nutrients. Best of all, it can be used in equal proportions as coriander powder.
10. Turmeric powder
Turmeric powder has an earthy and bitter taste and a musky aromatic fragrance. The brilliant yellow color, along with the orange scent, makes it pretty versatile. Add it to the dish instead of coriander powder, and the taste is further enhanced.
Use turmeric powder in half the quantity of coriander powder. Be rest assured when using turmeric powder in place of coriander powder, you are going with a healthier alternative as it helps our body fight oxidation, inflammatory conditions, anxiety, and even arthritis, as per this report.
11. Celery seed powder
Chances are you might not have used celery seed powder on a standalone basis, but it is present in many spice mixes.
You can replace coriander powder with celery powder in equal proportions. With an earthy, grassy, and slightly bitter taste, one cannot go wrong with it. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties make it a convenient replacement.
12. Tarragon powder
Tarragon is native to India and has a licorice taste and minty fragrance. Usually, it is sold in powdered form and can easily replace coriander powder with it in half the quantity. Since tarragon can be easily grown at home, one can always have it in ample supply. The anti-diabetic properties of tarragon make it suitable for people of all age groups. Therefore, even when you have guests with dietary restrictions, you can use this coriander powder substitute.
13. Dill powder
I do not blame you if you haven’t heard of dill powder. It’s not that famous!
Simply put, dill powder is similar in taste to caraway. Since caraway powder is a coriander substitute, this one also is. Its earthy aroma and citrus notes help impart a similar taste to any delicacy. ScienceDirect states that dill powder helps combat stress and inflammation; therefore, it isn’t without its benefits.
14. Cloves powder
The next option on my list is another spice. This time its clove powder. Cloves have a sweet flavor, similar to star anise. The color similarity of both powders makes it easy to confuse one for the other. The powder is so versatile and strong in flavor and aroma that ¼ teaspoon will suffice in place of 1 teaspoon of coriander powder. Use it in meat delicacies, stews, soups, sauces, and even rice to get a flavorful and aromatic dish. Its ability to reduce insulin resistance and fight inflammation makes it even more attractive.
15. Dried Basil powder
Some powders are a natural replacement for coriander powder, and dried basil powder is one such option. This powder’s spicy and licorice flavor and subtle sweet aroma make it a good replacement. Long shelf life further makes it easy to store. Additionally, Basil offers protein and fiber in decent quantities.
💡 Pro tip:
Ensure you use dried basil powder in half the quantity as coriander powder to prevent overpowering the dish.
16. Chervil powder
The last option on my list is a powder whose taste is a cross between parsley and anise. Chervil powder’s nutrient profile is also similar to coriander. Use it in the same quantity as coriander, and you will get a similar taste and aroma of coriander powder. With no usage restrictions, it can be used in sauces, curries, meat, and in many other recipes.
How to Choose the Right Substitute for Your Recipe
Choosing the right substitute for coriander powder depends on various factors. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:
Matching Flavor Profiles
When choosing a substitute for coriander powder, it’s important to consider the flavor profile of the dish. Coriander has a unique flavor that is earthy, slightly citrusy, and slightly sweet. So, you should look for a substitute that has a similar flavor profile.
Consider the Dish You’re Making
The dish you’re making can also determine the type of substitute you should use. For example, if you’re making a curry, garam masala or curry powder can be a great substitute for coriander powder. If you’re making a salad, fresh cilantro leaves can be a good substitute.
Experiment and Adjust
When using a substitute for coriander powder, it’s always best to experiment and adjust to your taste. Start with a small amount of the substitute and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired flavor. You can also combine different substitutes to get a flavor that is close to coriander powder.
Is coriander powder the same as cumin?
Coriander powder is not the same as cumin, but they taste similar due to the citrus taste notes.
Can I use coriander instead of coriander powder?
You can replace coriander powder with coriander, but the taste will vary slightly. Use coriander in the ground form and reduce its quantity to 3/4th as that of coriander powder.
Is coriander powder the same as ground coriander?
Yes, coriander powder and ground coriander are the same thing. Coriander powder is made by grinding the seeds of the coriander plant.
Can I use fresh coriander leaves instead of coriander powder?
Yes, fresh coriander leaves can be used as a substitute for coriander powder. However, keep in mind that the flavor may be slightly different, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
Is it possible to substitute coriander powder with other spices like cinnamon or nutmeg?
No, cinnamon and nutmeg cannot be used as a substitute for coriander powder as they have completely different flavor profiles. It’s best to use substitutes that have a similar flavor to coriander powder.
What can I use as a substitute for coriander powder in Indian cuisine?
There are several substitutes for coriander powder in Indian cuisine, such as cumin powder, garam masala, fennel seeds, and fenugreek leaves. You can experiment with different substitutes to find the one that best suits your recipe.
Can I use coriander seeds instead of coriander powder?
Yes, coriander seeds can be used as a substitute for coriander powder. Simply grind the seeds to a fine powder and use it in place of coriander powder. However, keep in mind that the flavor may be slightly different, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
With so many substitutes for coriander powder covered, you would have at least a couple of them in your home pantry. Instead of fretting over coriander powder, use any of these substitutes right away, and you won’t be disappointed with the taste.