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8 Best Cumin Substitutes You Should Try

Cumin is a staple spice in many Indian and Mexican dishes, but for some people, it can be a little hard to find.

If you are not able to find cumin at your local store, don’t worry because there are plenty of other Substitutes you can use in its place.

In this article, we are going to go over the different Substitutes for Cumin and recommend some of the best ones.

We will also give you recipes that use these Substitutes so that you can start cooking with them right away.

What’s Cumin?

Cumin is a spice that has been used for centuries in cuisines all over the world.

It’s made from the dried seeds of the cumin plant, and it has a warm, earthy flavor with hints of citrus.

Cumin is often used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican dishes.

It can be used to flavor meat, vegetables, or rice.

You can also add it to soups, stews, or sauces for an extra depth of flavor.

Cumin seeds are small and dark brown in color.

They have a ridged surface and are slightly curved.

Cumin seeds are available whole or ground.

Ground cumin has a more intense flavor and aroma than whole cumin seeds.

To use cumin seeds, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant.

Then, grind them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

To use ground cumin, simply add it to your dish as desired.

8 Best Cumin Substitutes You Should Try

1. Ground Coriander

Ground coriander is a common spice used in many cuisines around the world.

It has a slightly citrusy flavor and is often used as a substitute for cumin.

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Ground coriander can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It is commonly used in Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.

Ground coriander has a slightly citrusy flavor that is similar to lemon or lime.

It is often used as a substitute for cumin because it has a similar flavor profile.

Ground coriander can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It is commonly used in Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.

Curries, soups, stews, and marinades are all great uses for ground coriander.

When substituting ground coriander for cumin, use half the amount of coriander as you would cumin.

This will ensure that the dish doesn’t end up too citrusy.

2. Caraway Seeds

Cumin is a spice that has a nutty, earthy flavor and is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

If you don’t have cumin on hand or can’t find it at your local grocery store, there are a few substitutes that will work just as well in a recipe.

Caraway seeds have a similar flavor to cumin and can be used as a one-to-one replacement.

They are slightly more bitter than cumin, so you may want to use a little less than the recipe calls for.

Caraway seeds can also be ground in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle if you need them to be a finer powder.

Another substitute for cumin is fennel seed.

Fennel has a milder flavor than cumin, so it won’t be as pronounced in a dish.

You can use fennel whole or ground, depending on what the recipe calls for.

If using whole fennel, you’ll want to toast it lightly before adding it to the dish to bring out the flavor.

3. Chili Powder

Chili powder is a type of seasoning that is made from grinding dried chili peppers.

It is usually used to add flavor and heat to dishes.

Chili powder can be made from different types of chili peppers, such as ancho, cayenne, or jalapeño peppers.

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The flavor of chili powder varies depending on the type of pepper that is used to make it.

Cumin is a spice that has a similar flavor to chili powder.

It is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Cumin can be used as a substitute for chili powder if you want to add more heat to a dish.

To substitute cumin for chili powder, use half as much cumin as you would chili powder.

For example, if a recipe calls for one teaspoon of chili powder, use 1/2 teaspoon of cumin instead.

4. Taco Seasoning

Taco seasoning is a great cumin substitute because it has a similar flavor profile.

The main difference is that taco seasoning is more savory than cumin.

Cumin is also more potent, so you may need to use less of it.

When substituting taco seasoning for cumin, start by using half as much.

Then, taste the dish and see if you need to add more.

Remember that it’s always easier to add more seasoning than it is to take it away.

If you don’t have taco seasoning on hand, you can also use chili powder or paprika.

These spices will give your dish a similar flavor, but they won’t be as strong as cumin.

Start with half a teaspoon and then adjust to taste.

5. Curry Powder

If you’re looking for a cumin substitute that will give your dish a similar flavor, try curry powder.

Curry powder is a blend of spices that includes cumin, so it will have a similar taste.

Just be careful not to use too much, as curry powder can be quite strong.

Try to start with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there.

6. Garam Masala

Garam masala is a spice blend that originates from India.

It is typically made with a combination of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.

The word “garam” means “hot” in Hindi, so this spice blend is meant to be fiery and flavor-packed.

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If you’re looking for a cumin substitute that will pack a flavorful punch, garam masala is a great option.

This spice blend has a similar earthy taste to cumin, but it also has hints of sweetness and spice.

You can use garam masala as a 1:1 replacement for cumin in any recipe.

Just keep in mind that this spice blend is more potent than cumin, so you may want to start with less and add more to taste.

Looking for a way to add some Indian flavor to your cooking? Try substituting garam masala for cumin the next time you cook.

7. Paprika

Paprika is a spice made from dried red peppers.

It is used as a seasoning or coloring agent in many cuisines.

Paprika can range in taste from mild to hot and fiery.

The most common type of paprika is made from the peppers of the Capsicum annuum plant.

Paprika can be used as a substitute for cumin in both its powder and whole form.

When substituting paprika for cumin, use a 1:1 ratio.

So, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cumin, use 1 teaspoon of paprika instead.

Keep in mind that paprika is not as strong as cumin, so you may need to use a bit more to get the same flavor.

Paprika is a versatile spice that can be used in many different dishes.

Try using it to add color and flavor to the soup, stews, chili, rice, potatoes, eggs, and more.

8. Fennel Seeds

If you’re looking for a cumin substitute that will give your dish a similar taste, then fennel seeds are a good option.

These seeds have a slightly sweet and anise-like flavor, which makes them a good replacement for cumin in many recipes.

Additionally, fennel seeds can be used whole or ground, depending on your preference.

To substitute fennel seeds for cumin, start by using the same amount of fennel seeds as you would cumin.

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If you’re using ground fennel seeds, you may want to use a little less since they can be more potent than cumin.

Once you’ve added the fennel seeds to your dish, taste it and see if you need to add more before serving.

Conclusion

I have gone over 8 of the best substitutes for cumin.

Each of these spices has a unique flavor that can be used in replacement of cumin.

Be sure to experiment with different proportions to find the perfect flavor for your dish.

Yield: 1 Serving

8 Best Cumin Substitutes You Should Try

8 Best Cumin Substitutes You Should Try
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1. Ground Coriander
  • 2. Caraway Seeds
  • 3. Chili Powder
  • 4. Taco Seasoning
  • 5. Curry Powder
  • 6. Garam Masala
  • 7. Paprika
  • 8. Fennel Seeds

Instructions

  1. Select your favorite ingredient from the list above to use as a substitute.
  2. Follow the instructions and use the exact ratio of ingredients as directed.
  3. This will help to ensure that your dish turns out just as delicious as it would have with the original ingredient.
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