11 Best Substitutes for Coriander

Best Substitutes for Coriander

Coriander is one of those spices that you either love or hate. As with most foods, there are people who think coriander tastes great and those who absolutely loathe it. Personally I think the taste is hard to describe, but it is definitely not a must-try if you’re not sure about it. But if you want to enhance your cooking without having to reach for an expensive and hard-to-find herb like thyme or rosemary, then follow these 11 substitutes for coriander that work just as well as the real thing!

What Is Coriander?

Coriander is a plant that comes from the family Apiaceae. The leaves of the plant are used to flavor food. It’s also known as an herb and a spice due to its flavor.

The leaves, roots, and seeds of the coriander plant are all edible parts of the coriander. If you’re using it in a dish for flavor, then you’ll only need the leaves of the coriander for this purpose. However, if you’re eating it simply as a vegetable or salad ingredient then you’ll want to use all parts of it including entire stems with tender tops attached and seeds- both dried or fresh- but not whole because they can be too strong and overpowering.

What Does Coriander Taste Like?

Coriander tastes sweet and lemony/citrusy. The seeds of the coriander have a harsher taste than the leaves, stems and roots, so use them sparingly if you’re using them for flavor due to their strong flavor. If you need to substitute for it in a recipe that calls for it in seed form then one substitute is 1 tsp. of powdered cumin, or 2 tsp. of powder curry.

Similarly, if you’re using coriander for its flavor then you can use a teaspoon of ground coriander for every tablespoon of dried coriander- which is about as much as you need for a normal spice jar full of ground spices- or a half cup of fresh coriander seeds which is around the same quantity.

If you’re using it for its flavor then a teaspoon of coriander seeds is about the same quantity as a teaspoon of ground coriander and can be used much the same way.

Ground Coriander vs. Coriander Leaf

Coriander leaf is a spice that comes from the fresh leaves of the coriander plant. It’s also known as an herb and can be used as a spice for flavor.

Ground coriander is ground from the dried seeds of the coriander plant and can be used as a substitute for coriander leaf in recipes where it would not otherwise be available.

They don’t share any real similarities other than they’re both used as spices and they’re both made from the coriander plant.

Eating the leaves of the coriander plant is fine, but it’s not recommended you include the seeds in your diet if you can help it. That’s because coriander seeds have a strong flavor that might be too strong for some people to handle.

Best Substitutes for Coriander

1. Caraway


Caraway is a popular spice that looks and tastes similar to ground coriander. Both the seeds and leaves of caraway can be used for furthering its various cooking applications.

It is usually served in rye breads, German sausages, cheese dishes, soups, and stews. The sour taste of caraway will definitely spice up your meals!

You can also find caraway in desserts such as cookies, cakes and blueberry pies.

Coriander leaves also have a sweet flavor of liquorice or aniseed. However, the flavor of black caraway is stronger compared to that of white. You may use ½ part of caraway seeds in place of coriander.

2. Cumin


Cumin is a very popular ingredient in Mexican, Indian, and Asian cuisine. It adds a distinct flavor to foods. Especially those that are cooked over an open flame or BBQ.

Cumin plant is native to Egypt and the Arabian peninsula where it was used by the Egyptians for embalming. It’s an annual herb that grows up to 1 meter in height. Its leaves are pinnate with feather shaped leaflets. The flowers are small and yellow-colored with five petals.

Cumin is a member of the carrot family. The fruits are round, yellow-colored, and small.

Just like caraway, cumin seeds taste slightly different than whole seeds. It’s also important to mention that the flavor of whole cumin seeds can be quite intense. So, it’s common to add just a little of these seeds which will reduce the intensity of overall flavor.

Cumin is commonly used in many stews. It also works well with foods that are flavored with other spices such as coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon.

3. Garam Masala

Garam Masala
Garam Masala

Garam Masala is one of the most popular blends of spices found in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It usually consists of various amounts of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and other combinations of spices.

It’s important to mention that Garam Masala is usually used in a larger quantity. On top of that, it’s usually cooked with other spices, meats, vegetables and even milk. So, when you buy Garam Masala you can use it in many different recipes.

Garam masala is quite popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking. And people who love Indian or Pakistani cuisine are very likely to try various kinds of garam masalas for themselves.

4. Oregano


Oregano is a perennial herb native to Southwest Asia and North Africa. It’s an annual plant. The seeds that are used as a spice aren’t present in this particular herb. Instead, the leaves are consumed.

The flavor of Oregano is quite similar to coriander seeds. This is because both of these herbs belong to the family of Lamiaceae. Originally, Oregano was found in Mediterranean. At present, it can grow in various parts of the world.

Oregano must be dried before use. It’s very popularly used as a spice and it’s also used as a medicine in some parts of the world.

5. Fennel


Fennel is an herb that is quite similar to celery and carrots. It has feather-shaped leaves. And the flowers are long and pointy.

The seeds of fennel are inedible. Similarly to coriander seeds, these seeds also have a very intense flavor that is quite different from the flavor of fresh leaves.

Fennel can be used in various kinds of foods and especially grilled dishes. It’s used as a spice in many Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Mediterranean cuisines. On top of that, it’s also used as an ingredient in Oriental cuisine. Fennel is also used in various kinds of pickles.

6. Curry Powder

Curry Powder
Curry Powder

Curry powder is a blend of a variety of herbs and spices. It’s commonly used in Indian cuisine and some South Asian dishes as well. The herbs that are commonly found in curry powder include ginger, cumin, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, coriander and chillies. Also worth mentioning is the fact that some curry powders also contain coriander seeds.

Curry powder is often used with meats and vegetables. It’s also used as a seasoning in many other types of cuisines. Normally, it’s used in small quantities. The amount of curry powder that you use will greatly determine the intensity of the final flavor.

7. Basil


This herb is quite popular in Italian cuisine and Mediterranean cuisine as well. It’s grown in several countries including Canada, Italy, France and the United States.

Although basil is a flowering herb, the seeds from this plant are not edible. The leaves contain a powerful aroma. This aroma is what makes basil such a popular ingredient for making pesto.

Basil can be used as a substitute for coriander leaves in many of the cuisines that are mentioned in this article. It’s also used as an ingredient in other kinds of cuisines that aren’t mentioned here.

8. Parsley


Parsley is a fresh herb with a very fragrant aroma that is used in many cuisines. It’s also used as a spice at times. The leaves from this herb are quite dark and they have yellow-colored flowers that are used in cooking.

Parsley is a very popular herb in Mediterranean and European cuisines. So, if you’re planning to visit these regions and you want to enjoy flavorful dishes while you do so, then this herb is one of the best substitutes for coriander leaves.

Parsley is used as a garnish in many kinds of foods. It can be used with meats, vegetables, fish and more. It’s also used quite extensively in Mediterranean cuisine.

9. Chervil


Chervil is a fresh herb that belongs to the same family as parsley and fennel. It’s quite similar to the parsley in terms of taste. This is because in order to grow chervil seeds, the seeds of fennel are needed.

The flavor of chervil tastes very similar to its relative. This is why it’s commonly used as a substitute for parsley which is grown in many European countries including France and Italy as well.

10. Lovage


Lovage is a perennial herb with large leaves. This herb is native to Europe and North Africa. In fact, it also lives in the riverbeds of Russia, Asia and China.

The leaves from this herb are quite tender. They contain a very intense flavor that resembles bitter almonds. On top of being used as food ingredients, the leaves are also used as drugs in some parts of the world.

11. Mint


Mint is a very common herb. In fact, it’s used in many cuisines. It’s also used as a spice. Mint leaves contain a strong aroma that can help you make tasty dishes that are different from what you usually eat.

Mint is also grown as an aromatic plant in several countries throughout the world. It’s commonly used in foods and beverages at home and in restaurants as well. It’s also used as a seasoning for foods.


In conclusion, this article has provided you with a list of herbs that you can use as an alternative to coriander leaves. Coriander leaves are often used in Mexican, South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. However, they aren’t always available in the stores. So, if you want to make certain recipes or if you want to try a different cuisine then the above-mentioned herbs are just right for the job.

11 Best Substitutes for Coriander

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