Coriander is a leafy annual type of herb. It belongs to the same family with caraway, fennel, and celery. The term “coriander” usually refers to the seeds, while coriander leaves and stems are called cilantro in North America (or Dhaniya Powder in India).
Many people don’t like eating coriander because it has a rank smell and an unpleasant soapy taste. So, they look for alternatives that are more gentle in flavor but offer the same health benefits. Today we’d like to share with you our list of coriander substitutes. Let’s explore it now!
List of 11 Best Coriander Substitutes
Base on the taste, texture and amount using, you can use the list below to substitute for coriander (cilantro).
1. The Best Choice: Cumin
You cannot skip cumin when it comes to the best substitute for ground coriander. The widespread popularity and similar flavor make it the very first alternative I think of today.
Cumin is a common spice used in various dishes, including curries, meat, stews, and soups. It is derived from the ground seed of the Cuminum Cyminum plant.
Both cumin and coriander have a typical earthy flavor, although the former is hot and spicy. The key is to replace the coriander with ¾ part of cumin to maintain the taste. If possible, use black cumin for a sweeter scent.
2. Caraway Seeds – Closest Taste
Another excellent stand-in for ground coriander is caraway seeds.
I believe this herb is the closest in taste to coriander as both herbs have the same aromatic oils. You can use caraway in place of coriander without changing the flavor of your dish.
Caraway is commonly used in desserts, baked goods, and casseroles. Also, you can taste it in Indian spice blends and dishes.
It is advised to use a small amount of caraway first to test the flavor, then add more if needed.
3. Garam Masala – New Flavor
This is a blend of spices, which typically consists of turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, mace, peppercorns, cumin, and coriander. As you can see, coriander is a component of garam masala. That is why you can replace coriander itself with this mixture.
Be warned that garam masala can change the taste of your dish. This is understandable as it contains a variety of spices. Also, the turmeric can add a yellow color to the final food presentation.
Similar to garam masala, curry powder is a spice blend that usually contains coriander. Other ingredients include turmeric, chili, fenugreek, etc. It provides a warm tone for a variety of dishes just as coriander does.
As curry powder offers a strong flavor, it is best to add a small amount first.
4. Parsley – Most Similar
Because of having slightly similar in appearance and taste, many people all over the world think that coriander and parsley are the same. Both have a high source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory property.
There are two kinds of parsley: curly-leaf parsley and flat-leaf parsley (or Italian parsley). All of them can be used in your favorite dishes as a great coriander substitute.
Besides being used as a garnish, parsley combines with garlic will create an aromatic taste, which is often used to prepare garlic butter bread and sauces. For instance, the best dish made with parsley is known as Tabbouleh salad, which also includes tomato, lemon, bulgur wheat and green onion.
5. Chervil – Sweet And Mild Flavor Choice
The second herb that can be listed on coriander substitute is Chervil. Chervil is considered as a petite feathery version of parsley, but the chervil’s leaves are smaller. It has a sweet and mild flavor.
It has various applications in folk medicines, including curing hiccups, digestive aid or lowering high blood pressure. This herb is usually used with butter sauces, fish, soups, especially eggs.
When you have a party, you can cook peas with chervil, which is an easy and delicious dish to go with grilled fish or roast chicken. Besides, it’s also used to decorate many dishes.
6. Eryngium Foetidum – Strong Smell
This herb is also called long coriander, recao or culantro, which is almost the same as the spelling of cilantro seed (coriander). It’s also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin C, B, A, iron and phosphorus.
It has a little bit stronger smell and longer, tougher leaves than coriander; hence, coriander is described as a much weaker version of culantro.
This is also the reason why most people use it for coriander substitute in curry, soups or noodle dishes in Asia. Furthermore, it’s mostly used based on the cooking recipes of Puerto Rico, in which sofrito is the most famous dish, which also includes onion, chili and garlic.
7. Lovage – Best Go With Eggs
Lovage leaves look like Italian parsley leaves, but their taste and smell are similar to celery and parsley mixed with a little curry. Its leaves are usually used in soup, stews, season broths, stocks or pork, salad and poultry dishes.
If you want to enhance the flavor of potato dishes, let’s use it. This herb is especially delicious with eggs. You can stir its leaves into omelets, frittata, mash or scrambled eggs. You can also tuck the leaves into the cavity of fish or a chicken before roasting. It creates an aroma for the dish.
Moreover, its root can be eaten as a kind of vegetable or mixed in salads. That is an easy way to find a seed substitute for coriander with Lovage
8. Mint – Aromatic Herb
If you don’t want to cook the dishes with coriander or parsley, mint leaves are a good coriander substitute. It has many different species, approximately 13 to 18 species, and there is no exact distinction between them. When mentioning mint, people often think of its aromatic and spicy flavor.
Mint combines with other herbs to create a mint sauce (or mint chimichurri) which usually accompanies to grilled lamb.
Also, in the summer, it appears in almost drinks and ice-cream, such as:
- Honeydew and mint ice.
- Mint smoothieof cucumber and melon.
- Watermelon-mint martini
- Pineapple-mint granita
- Heavenly fresh mint ice-cream
- Blackberry mint julep
- Fresh mint gelato
9. Basil – King of herb
Basil belongs to the mint family, it’s known as “royal herb” or “the king of herb”. Depending on each area, it has different names. For example, in Italia, it’s called sweet basil or Genovese basil. In Asia, its name turns to lemon basil or Thai basil or holy basil.
It’s lightly spicy, exotic, and sweet. Like coriander, all of its flavors will be loose when being cooked and its flavor becomes strongest when used raw. It’s also a great coriander substitute, which is suitable for pizza, soup, and salad.
Basil is classically combined with tomato in some traditional foods such as pasta with tomato and basil dish that is super simple and quick to cook, or Pesto, which is made from olive oil, parmesan, and basil leaves with pine nuts.
This below video will show you clearly step by step to make pasta with tomato and basil dish.
10. Celery – Best For Your Health
Celery leaves can provide some minerals, fiber and vitamins which help to boost our health very much. Because it has low calories, it becomes a good choice for people who want to get a weight-loss diet.
The green or yellow kinds of celery are available almost round the year and are plentiful in summer. Moreover, it can replace coriander in many recipes such as stir-fries and salsas because it has a mild flavor.
Using this herb, you can create many wonderful dishes. It’s hard to believe that you can create cocktails and soda from it. But it really does that. For example, celery tonic (a kind of cocktail) is made by mixing celery and a little vodka.
Besides this, you can also cook delicious kombu celery which is made of celery sticks with salty, crunchy and sesame-drenched, or Thai celery salad with peanuts from fish sauce, lime juice, peanuts, chile and scallions.
11. Oregano – Last Choice
Oregano is a great herb, both in medicine and both in cooking. It’s a symbol of happiness as mentioned in its name. It brings not only calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium but also vitamins K, E and C for our health.
It is quite bitter and spicy, so it combines very well with tomatoes, capers, meat, olive oil, and basil; even when combined with other spicy, and hot food as well. That is also the reason why it’s very suitable for pizza.
Fresh oregano is a great choice to mix with vegetable, combine with meat, lamb, stuffings, egg dishes, and pasta dishes. For instance, a salad of radicchio, oregano, and orange is quite attractive and colorful.
This recipe depends on a smart low-fat cooking technique. When you reduce the juice to focus on its sweetness, you don’t have to add much oil.
Interesting Informations About Coriander
What Is Coriander And Its Benefits?
Its fresh leaves are commonly used as a garnish in plenty of dishes, from chutneys in South Asia to dal in India. Meanwhile, the dried seeds are a popular spice all over the world. You can also find coriander in the mixtures used in brewing beer and pickling vegetables.
People favor these plants mostly because it has multiple health benefits for our body. The plants are capable of eliminating heavy metals and providing essential sources such as vitamin A and vitamin K.
What Does Coriander Taste Like?
As I mentioned in the previous articles, I received endless questions about replacing coriander with other flavor herbs. And when I asked them back why, the answers were mainly related to the taste of this spice. Let me quote a typical response: “I cannot stand them, both the taste and the smell feel like rotten.”
I found out that the world consists of two types: those who love coriander and the others who hate it. If you belong to the first group, you may perceive the taste of coriander as savory or lime-like. However, the second group finds the plant soapy or even rotten.
Another reason why some resist it is that they have an allergy to coriander seeds or leaves.
Coriander is very popular all around the world. It’s also good for our health. However, because of its pungent taste, many people stay away from it. But it’s not the problem when many other kinds of herbs which have the same flavor as coriander are used not only as a garnish but also as an ingredient in some awesome recipes.
If you are allergic to it, don’t hesitate to try many other dishes with other herbs in the coriander substitute list. It will bring you to the world full of delicious dishes. If you have anything to ask us, please leave it in your comment. It’s our pleasure!