In this article, we’ll be looking at the 7 best substitutes for cumin. Cumin is a spice that comes from the seeds of the cumin plant, and it has a very distinct taste that’s used in many different cuisines. It’s usually used in Indian and Mexican cooking, as well as some Middle Eastern dishes. It can also be used to season meats like beef or lamb before they are cooked.
Although it can be hard to find in stores sometimes, there are many great substitutes for cumin that you can use instead! We’ve put together a list of our favorites below
What is Cumin?
Cumin is a plant that grows in tropical regions, and its seeds are used to flavor foods. It’s a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, but it’s also used in Latin American dishes like tacos and burritos. It has a slightly bitter flavor that can be described as earthy or nutty, depending on the variety. Cumin is often used in combination with other spices to create complex flavors.
Why Are You Looking for Substitutes?
If you’ve never eaten cumin before, it might seem intimidating at first—but once you try it out, you’ll probably find yourself going back for more!
However, if you’re allergic to cumin or just don’t like its taste, here are some great substitutes that will help you recreate your favorite recipes without needing any actual cumin at all:
Best Substitutes for Cumin
1 – Coriander
Coriander is a plant whose leaves and seeds are used as a spice. The leaves are known as cilantro, while the seed can be whole or ground. It has a citrusy flavor that pairs perfectly with Mexican and Indian dishes.
Coriander is one of the most common substitutes for cumin because it also has a slight smokiness to it and is used in similar ways. It’s especially good if you’re looking for a substitute that will give your dish more depth—just make sure to use it sparingly!
When cooking with coriander, don’t forget to add it at the end of the cooking process or else its flavor will be lost in the heat! Add it only after you’ve removed your food from heat so that nothing gets burnt or overcooked while you’re trying to get coriander incorporated into your dish.
If you want to get more creative with coriander, try adding some ground up seeds to smoothies or even cocktails!
2 – Chili Powder
Chili powder is a spice blend, made from dried chilis, that’s used in soups, sauces, and stews. It has a deep red color and a mild to medium heat level. You can find chili powder at any grocery store, but it can also be made at home by combining cumin seeds with paprika.
Chili powder is one of the most common replacements for cumin in recipes because the flavors are similar and it has a similar texture. However, chili powder is often made with salt or other ingredients that make it too salty for some recipes. If you’re using chili powder as a replacement for cumin, you may want to reduce the amount of salt in your recipe by half or more.
Chili powder can be added to soups and stews at any point during cooking—just remember not to add it before adding any liquid or sauce because there will be no way for those liquids to absorb all of the flavor if they are already mixed together!
3 – Curry Powder
Curry powder is a blend of spices used in Indian and Thai cuisines. It’s usually made up of turmeric, coriander, cumin, pepper and other spices depending on where you’re getting it from. Curry powder can be used to make curries, or sprinkled over rice or vegetables.
Curry powder is an easy substitute for cumin because it has a similar flavor profile and works well with many types of dishes. You can use curry powder instead of cumin in chili powder as well as curry recipes like chicken curry or lamb vindaloo. You can also use it in place of cumin when making meatballs or burgers if you’re looking for something different than what you normally eat!
1 teaspoon curry powder = 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 – Garam Masala
Garam Masala is a mixture of spices that’s commonly used in Indian cuisine. It consists of a combination of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom and nutmeg. It’s made by grinding these spices together.
Garam Masala is most commonly used as a substitute for cumin in curries and other spicy dishes. It can also be added to dahls, soups, rice and lentil dishes. It has a similar flavor profile to cumin but is not as overpowering or spicy.
The best way to use garam masala is by adding it towards the end of cooking your dish so that you don’t burn it like you would if you had added it earlier on in the cooking process.
1 tsp ground cumin = 1/2 tsp garam masala
5 – Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried peppers. It’s usually a bright red color with a smoky, earthy flavor.
Cumin is a spice made from the seeds of a plant called the cumin plant. It has a warm, slightly bitter taste and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
You can substitute paprika for cumin in recipes that call for cumin by using half as much paprika as you would cumin. This will give your dish the same flavor as if you were using cumin, but the dish will have a more bitter taste because of the difference in their chemical makeup.
6 – Turmeric
Turmeric is a root that is most commonly used to make curry powder. However, it can also be used as a substitute for cumin. Turmeric has a bright yellow color and a slightly bitter taste. It’s a great substitute because it adds a lot of flavor to your dish—and it’s also known to have some health benefits!
If you’re using turmeric as a substitute for cumin, use half as much turmeric as you would use cumin in your recipe. This will give you the same level of flavor without overpowering the dish with too much spice.
1 teaspoon cumin = ½ teaspoon turmeric
7 – Taco Seasoning
Taco seasoning is a blend of chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, and cumin.
If you’re using taco seasoning instead of cumin to make a dish that calls for the latter because you don’t have any on hand—say a taco salad or rice and beans—you should still add some chopped onion and garlic to your recipe before adding the taco seasoning. This will help bring out more flavor from the spices (plus it just makes everything taste better).
1 tablespoon of cumin = 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning
We hope you enjoyed learning about the 7 best substitutes for cumin!
In conclusion, we want to summarize some of the most important things that you should keep in mind when using these substitutes.
First, remember that all of these spices have different flavors and aromas: some are more similar to cumin than others. So if you’re trying out a new substitute, consider what you’re making and how much it would need to be altered in order to get the right flavor.
Second, remember that some of these spices have different textures, so they’ll adjust differently in your recipe. Some of them will be ground into powder or even smaller pieces than cumin would be, while others might retain their whole form. If you’re concerned about texture, feel free to experiment with cooking times and temperatures until you find something that works!
Finally, don’t forget that some of these spices are more expensive than others—but if you’re substituting just one spice from a recipe that calls for many different kinds (like chili powder), then maybe it’s worth it!