Cumin vs Coriander: Are They Not the Same?

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Because they are often located next to one another on the shelf of the grocery store and because they are frequently used in a broad variety of recipes, many of us may be forgiven for assuming that these two herbs are the same.

However, as we will see in this article, while cumin and coriander are both seeds with rich and concentrated tastes that match up nicely in many dishes, each herb has its own unique flavor. Although cumin and coriander are both seeds with intense and concentrated flavors,

Continue reading to find out more information about each herb, including how it is used in cooking and the potential advantages it may have for our health and well-being. Next, I take a more in-depth look at the real parallels and divergences between cumin and coriander, including the respective contributions to one’s diet that each spice makes.

Exactly What is Cumin and How Is It Used?

In culinary applications, cumin is almost often solely utilized in the form of its seeds or as powdered seeds; nevertheless, various components of the cumin plant may be employed in traditional medicinal applications. Fresh cumin leaves are hard to come by, but when you do find them, they have a taste that is both tart and delicate, making them an excellent addition to green salads.

Cumin seeds are harvested from the Cuminum cyminum plant, which is indigenous to East Mediterranean and South Asian regions. The Cuminum cyminum plant is a member of the Apiaceae family, which also includes carrots, celery, parsley, caraway, angelica, chervil, and a number of other culinary and medicinal herbs.

In a wide variety of cuisines, including those from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and South America, masalas, spice mixes, and powders all use cumin as an ingredient. Cumin was brought to the Americas by people from Spain and Portugal who were exploring the New Globe. After arriving in the Americas, cumin quickly gained popularity in Latin American spice, chili, and curry mixes, just as it did in other regions of the world.

To get the most out of whole cumin seeds, toasting them is the best way to bring out their flavor. If you want a quick garnish that you can use for a variety of dishes, try mixing some toasted cumin seeds with onions that have been cooked. These onions can be used as a topping for soups and other dishes.

Both ground cumin and whole cumin seeds may be found easily in grocery shops. They are often offered in their dried form since this gives them a longer shelf life and amplifies their taste. Cumin may also be found under the name jeera, which is the Hindi term for cumin. This is true if you go to a shop that specializes in spices. Once you have purchased ground cumin, you should keep it in an airtight container in a cold and dark area so that it doesn’t lose its taste too fast. Ground cumin only maintains its peak flavor for about six months after it has been purchased. If you can find whole cumin seeds to purchase and then grind them yourself as you need them, you will be able to keep cumin on hand for a longer period of time. Cumin seeds may be stored for about a year in their entire form.

Cumin, like many other herbs, may provide some health advantages if it is consumed on a regular basis. Cumin has been connected to helping weight control, and a handful of studies have shown that obese persons were able to lose weight when they supplemented their diet with cumin. [Citation needed] [Citation needed] [Citation needed] [Citation In one of the experiments, there were three groups of participants who took cumin, weight reduction medicine, or a placebo. One group received cumin, while the other two groups took weight loss medication. According to the findings of the research, both groups that participated in the experiment and dropped a significant amount of weight after consuming cumin and the prescription prescribed for weight reduction.

Cumin seemed to have a good impact on cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well, however more study into the use of cumin for the treatment of diabetes has had mixed findings to this point.

What is Coriander and Does It Taste the Same as Cilantro?

Coriander is the name given to the seeds of the cilantro plant (Coriandrum sativum), a herb that is a member of the same family as cumin called Apiaceae. Coriander is also known as Chinese parsley.

In contrast to cumin, the entire cilantro plant can be used for culinary purposes. The fresh leaves and stems of the cilantro plant are sold under the name “cilantro,” and they are sometimes sold with the roots still attached. Both the roots and the leaves of the cilantro plant can be cooked. The seeds of the cilantro plant, whether they are left whole or ground, are referred to as “coriander.” When experimenting with new recipes, it’s easy to become confused since coriander and cilantro are both common names in some regions of the globe.

Both cilantro and coriander have their own distinct tastes, and as a result, they are put to use in the kitchen in quite diverse ways. Coriander, with its earthier taste and hint of sweetness, is a popular ingredient in recipes from Mexico, Latin America, and India. Cilantro, on the other hand, is used extensively in the cuisines of South America, Vietnam, Thailand, and India, where its robust and aggressive flavor is highlighted.

Coriander is easily accessible in the form of both whole seeds and powdered powder at the grocery shops in your area. However, you should be aware that ground coriander loses its taste more quickly than the whole seeds do and that it is only at its peak for about one year. Because coriander seeds may be stored for many years without losing their viability, it may be worthwhile to purchase the whole seeds and then crush them yourself using a mortar and pestle, a spice grinder, or a food processor.

Before being ground, whole coriander seeds may be roasted or cooked in a dry pan. This brings out the taste by concentrating the volatile oils that are already present in the seeds and brings out their aroma. Regardless of the manner in which you purchase your coriander, it must be stored in a container that is airtight, at a location that is both cold and dark.

On the other hand, similar to cumin, coriander may be added to roasted vegetables and lentils either on its own or in combination with other herbs and spices. Coriander seeds in their entire form can also be used in baked products or pickled vegetables.

Coriander, much like cumin, has the potential to improve our health in a number of ways. Because of its tendency to reduce blood sugar levels, those who are diabetic or who use medication to manage their blood sugar should exercise caution while ingesting coriander because of the research that has shown it may drop blood sugar levels in animals.

Because of a number of different factors, coriander has also been associated with enhanced cardiovascular health. The first benefit of coriander is that it seems to have diuretic properties. Diuretics work by flushing the body of extra water and salt; as a result, coriander reduces blood pressure. The second benefit of eating coriander seeds is that they have been shown to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol while simultaneously raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in animal studies. Consuming coriander and other pungent herbs and spices may lead to a natural decrease in sodium consumption since the additional salt that is often used to add flavor to meals is unnecessary when using these herbs and spices instead.

Antioxidants are known to fight the effects of inflammation that occurs in the body, and coriander includes antioxidants. Since inflammation is a factor in a wide variety of diseases, including but not limited to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, it is possible that coriander, when used in conjunction with conventional treatments and healthy lifestyle choices, can be beneficial in the management of these and other conditions.

Differences and Similarities Between Cumin and Coriander

In the previous parts, I examined each of the herbs on its own. In this section, however, I will focus on comparing and contrasting the two in more depth, paying particular attention to the contrasts and similarities between them.

When it comes to appearance, you will notice that whole coriander seeds are spherical and often have a brilliant brown to yellow hue, and once ground, it remains the same coloring. When you look at the seeds, you will also see that the colour does not change.

Whole cumin seeds, on the other hand, have a brownish-tan color and have a striped appearance. They are also thin, elongated, and have curved sides. The color of ground cumin is somewhere in the middle between brown and black.

Coriander has some earthiness and heat, but it also has sweetness and brightness, whereas cumin has some heat and earthy flavors along with smoky notes, but it also has a bitterness that can linger in the mouth. In terms of flavor, coriander has some earthiness and heat, whereas cumin has some of each.

When combined, cumin and coriander provide a taste that is not only more unique but also more obvious than that of coriander alone. Because cumin and coriander have distinct flavor profiles, you cannot always use one in a recipe in place of the other. For this reason, you need to exercise caution whenever you experiment with different combinations of seasonings. Cumin and coriander complement each other very well and go together very well.

In most cases, ground cumin may be substituted with ground coriander. However, using ground coriander in a recipe that calls for ground cumin may result in a too noticeable shift in the meal’s overall taste. Caraway seeds are an alternative to cumin that might be used in cooking in the event that you do not have access to cumin.

Cumin and coriander are two spices that are often used in Middle Eastern, Indian, Mexican, and Turkish cooking, amongst other cuisines. To demonstrate how long these spices have been used, the Old Testament makes mention to both of these ancient plants.

Coriander is a common ingredient in the masala (spice mix) that is used in Indian cooking, whereas cumin is often used to season the food. Both of these herbs may be found in a variety of Indian foods, including samosas, rogan josh, aloo gobi, chana masala, and palak paneer.

Coriander is sometimes used in sweet dishes in Western cuisine, but cumin is nearly often found in savory and meat-based recipes. Coriander, on the other hand, is a member of the parsley family.

If you want to include cumin and coriander into your cuisine, you may mix equal parts of the seeds or pulverized seeds of the two spices, then sprinkle some of the mixture over meat rubs or on vegetables that have been roasted. You may season the water in which you cook quinoa, rice, or couscous with part of the mix, or you can just add a small bit of the blend to dishes like soups, chilis, or stews.

Since there is a possibility that whole cumin or coriander seeds can overpower other flavors in a dish if they are used in cooking, the majority of recipes call for the seeds to be crushed before use. However, even when ground, they may still carry a bit of a punch, which is why it is always best to add a tiny quantity, taste it, and add more if it is necessary to do so.

Cumin vs Coriander – The Nutrition Stakes

Cumin and coriander are relatively comparable in terms of their nutrition, as we can see from the table that follows. However, when comparing one teaspoon of whole cumin seeds to one teaspoon of whole coriander seeds, on average, cumin seeds do tend to contain more minerals than coriander seeds do.

Whole Cumin Seed

Whole Coriander Seed


7.88 kcal

5.36 kcal


0.374 g

0.223 g


0.468 g

0.32 g


0.929 g

0.99 g


0.22 g

0.754 g

Vitamin C

0.162 mg

0.378 mg


19.6 mg

12.8 mg


1.39 mg

0.2494 mg


7.69 mg

5.95 mg


10.5 mg

7.36 mg


37.5 mg

22.8 mg


3.53 mg

0.63 mg


0.101 mg

0.085 mg


0.07 mg

0.034 mg


0.109 μg

0.473 μg

(Data source: USDA FoodData Central)

Both cumin and coriander contain traces of a number of different vitamins, but since these spices are often only used in such minute amounts, their contribution to our diet as a whole is minimal. Both cumin and coriander are used in cooking.

Cumin vs Coriander – The Conclusion

Cumin and coriander are both considered to be types of herbs; yet, the seeds of both plants are distinct from one another in terms of color, form, and taste. Coriander brings heat in addition to earthiness, smokiness, and a bitterness that may persist, while cumin brings heat in addition to earthiness as well as some brightness and sweet taste.

Cumin and coriander are often used together in numerous cuisines, but each of these spices is also often used on its own in a variety of other cuisines. You can also easily include cumin and coriander into your regular cooking to spice up stews, soups, meats, rice, lentils, and other foods. This may be accomplished with relative ease.

I really hope that you have enjoyed reading this article, and that the information that I have given has been beneficial to you in determining whether you should cook using cumin, coriander, or a combination of the two spices.

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