eight Good Substitutes for Cumin

Cumin is a nutty, lemony spice that’s broadly utilized in many cuisines and dishes — from Indian curries to chili to guacamole.

Luckily, if you end up midway by making your favourite recipe and notice you’re out of this delectable spice, there are appropriate replacements.

Listed here are eight good substitutes for cumin.

Cumin and coriander develop from a plant within the parsley, or Apiaceae, household. Each are used to season dishes in Latin, Center Japanese, and Indian cuisines (1).

Contemporary coriander stems and leaves are referred to as cilantro. Its dried seeds are used entire or floor right into a powder for cooking.

Each coriander and cumin give dishes a lemony, earthy taste — although coriander is milder when it comes to warmth.

To substitute with coriander, add half the quantity of coriander to your dish. When you want a bit extra warmth, add a touch of chili powder or cayenne.


Coriander and cumin are botanical cousins, making coriander an excellent substitute. Each ship earthy and lemony notes to a dish. When you like a bit of warmth, add a touch of chili powder or cayenne too, as coriander’s warmth is barely milder.

When you lay cumin and caraway seeds facet by facet, you’ll discover they resemble one another of their rectangular form and mustardy-brown colour.

Botanically, this is sensible, as they’re cousins. Like cumin and coriander, caraway belongs to the parsley household (2).

Caraway is widespread in German delicacies, each as seeds or floor. Whereas a bit milder than cumin, caraway nonetheless makes a wonderful substitute.

A superb rule of thumb is that caraway seeds ought to substitute cumin seeds, whereas floor caraway ought to change the bottom model.

Change cumin with half the quantity of caraway. Then, step by step add extra to style.


Caraway is one other member of the parsley household that tastes much like cumin, making it an acceptable substitute. Start by changing cumin with half the quantity of caraway, and step by step add extra to style.

One other appropriate substitute is chili powder, which normally incorporates cumin as certainly one of its main substances.

Understand that chili powder may also present some further flavors, as the combination might comprise paprika, garlic powder, oregano, floor cayenne, and onion powder.

This substitute works properly in the event you’re making a dish like baked beans however might not complement flavors present in different dishes like Indian curries.

Due to the paprika and cayenne in chili powder, utilizing it might additionally impart a extra reddish hue to your dish.

Like the opposite substitutes, use half the quantity of cumin known as for within the recipe. If the recipe requires 1 tbsp (14 grams) of floor cumin, use half a tbsp (7 grams) of chili powder.


Chili powder is a spice mix that usually consists of cumin, amongst different spices. To substitute, use half the quantity of cumin known as for within the recipe. Contemplate the extra flavors chili powder will add, in addition to its crimson hue.

This spice mix has all of the makings of chili powder, together with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and cumin. Moreover, taco seasoning incorporates salt, black pepper, and crushed crimson pepper flakes.

Count on this substitute to deliver a extra advanced set of flavors than cumin does by itself, in addition to a bit extra warmth.

Additionally, understand that taco seasoning blends comprise various quantities of salt.

For that reason, add taco seasoning to your recipe earlier than salt or higher-sodium condiments like Worcestershire sauce. This lets you keep away from over-salting your dish. Then, alter to style.


Taco seasoning is one other spice combine that features cumin. It additionally incorporates salt, so use it earlier than you add salt or higher-sodium condiments to the recipe.

Curry powder blends generally comprise cumin, making them an excellent substitute. Like different spice blends talked about above, it additionally brings different flavors into the combination.

Curry powders differ in composition. Along with cumin, they usually embrace about twenty floor herbs and spices, similar to floor ginger, cardamom, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, black pepper, and cinnamon.

Mixed, these spices yield a heat, fragrant mix with a deep yellow tone.

Curry is a perfect substitute in Southeast Asian dishes. Understand that it is going to give your dish a hanging yellow colour from the turmeric.


Curry powder largely depends on cumin as a base ingredient, although it additionally consists of many different heat and fragrant spices. It’s a superb substitute however will make your dish extra yellow in colour.

Like curry powder, garam masala is a fancy spice and herb mix typically used within the cuisines of India, Mauritius, and South Africa. Because it incorporates cumin, it really works properly instead (3).

Garam masala is usually added on the finish of the cooking course of, giving the dish a heat, citrusy, and alluring aroma.

As with many different spices, you’ll be able to substitute with garam masala by beginning with half of the quantity of cumin known as for within the recipe and adjusting to style. Add garam masala later within the cooking course of for essentially the most taste.


Garam masala is a conventional Indian spice mix with heat, citrusy notes. It can finest substitute cumin in dishes from Indian, Mauritian, and South African cuisines.

Paprika delivers the smokiness of cumin however with much less warmth.

Identified for its vibrant, crimson colour, substituting with paprika may also add a reddish tone to your dish.

To substitute, start through the use of half the quantity of cumin known as for within the recipe, and in the event you nonetheless want just a little extra warmth, sprinkle in a little bit of cayenne or pepper.


Equally to cumin, paprika brings smokiness to a dish — however with much less warmth. Remember that it’s going to additionally give your dish a reddish tone.

As one other member of the parsley household, fennel seeds are additionally a superb various to cumin.

Fennel seeds have an anise-like, licorice taste, which isn’t present in cumin. It can additionally not ship the identical smokiness and earthiness, however fennel seeds received’t style misplaced whenever you’re in a pinch.

Use floor fennel to substitute for floor cumin, and fennel seeds to substitute for cumin seeds. Take into account, you’ll be able to at all times pulverize fennel seeds in a espresso grinder or meals processor for just a few seconds.

As with the opposite spice options mentioned right here, begin sluggish with about half of the quantity of cumin that the recipe requires. Then, fold within the spice pinches at a time to style.

When you miss the smoky taste, take into account including a pinch of paprika to your dish as properly.


As one other member of the parsley household, fennel seeds make an excellent various to cumin in a recipe. Whereas they don’t mimic the flavour precisely, they won’t style misplaced. Begin with half the quantity of cumin the recipe requires and alter to style.

Cumin is an earthy, fragrant spice that brings citrusy notes to a recipe.

When you’re in a pinch, there are various nice options that you just may have already got in your pantry.

Caraway seeds and floor coriander most carefully mimic cumin’s taste, whereas curry and chili powders already comprise cumin of their blends.

While you’re out of cumin, relaxation assured figuring out that your recipe will nonetheless style incredible by the usage of these intelligent substitutes.

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