Substitutes for Cilantro and Coriander

Rate this post

Cilantro and coriander, which are popular in many cuisines, provide a unique taste to foods. While many of us prefer the tastes of cilantro and coriander, not everyone does, so having the option to replace cilantro and coriander ensures that everyone may enjoy a range of meals.

The seeds of the coriander plant, a member of the parsley family, are commonly crushed to produce spice or sold whole, while the stems and leaves of the coriander plant are known as cilantro. The whole coriander plant is edible.

To add to the confusion, cilantro is also the Spanish term for coriander, although coriander seeds are usually called coriander seeds, not cilantro seeds.

Coriander is used in other areas of the globe to refer to both the leaves and the seeds of the coriander plant, therefore it’s always worth double-checking if a non-US recipe calls for cilantro or coriander, since using the incorrect portion of the coriander plant can affect the taste of the meal.

Cilantro (also known as Chinese parsley) is aromatic and citrus-flavored, with traces of soapiness, while coriander has a peppery, nutty, and earthy taste.

Coriander, or Coriandum stivum, is a plant that grows wild in southern Europe and is cultivated in places such as India and China. While the coriander plant’s origins are uncertain, it seems to have been in use for roughly 7000 years. Coriander has been mentioned in ancient Sanskrit scriptures, and it was also discovered in the tomb of the Egyptian king, Tutankhamun.

Coriander was used as a spice in Ancient Greece, and the leaves (cilantro) were utilized as a herb; in fact, the Greek name for coriander, koris, means stink bug, perhaps due to the unpleasant odor that cilantro leaves emit when bruised!

Coriander was one of the earliest herbs planted by early New England immigrants, and it was also carried by the conquistadors to South America, where it ultimately started to be coupled with chiles in regional recipes.

Coriander has antioxidant properties and may reduce blood sugar levels to such a degree that diabetics should exercise caution while eating coriander. Some preliminary research suggests that coriander may help decrease some of the risk factors for heart disease, and its anti-inflammatory properties may also help protect against inflammatory brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Cilantro, like coriander, is a powerful antioxidant that may also work as an antibiotic against some germs. Cilantro also contains magnesium, manganese, and iron.

The Cilantro Love-Hate Relationship

Cilantro and coriander never seem to find a happy medium; it’s either love it or hate it.

One study looked into why some of us can’t take the thing, and the researchers discovered that a certain gene is connected to our dislike of cilantro.

The 0R6A2 gene encodes signals derived from aldehyde compounds. These are the compounds present in various soaps, which may explain why some of us find cilantro’s uniquely soapy flavor disagreeable!

Choosing the Best Coriander or Cilantro Replacement

Whatever alternative you choose to use in lieu of coriander or cilantro is highly dependent on the dish.

Cilantro is widely used in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine, as well as Middle Eastern, South Asian, Thai, and Chinese cuisines.

Coriander’s spicy but softer taste, with overtones of lemon, is essential in curry powder mixes and other Indian meals, as well as African and Middle Eastern recipes.

Coriander is often featured in spicy BBQ rubs and even pickled vegetables, and is usually available in ground rather than seed form. Coriander complements pig, lamb, and sausage meals and always blends nicely with chile and garlic.

cuisines. Following are some coriander substitutions and some alternatives for cilantro that may be used in a variety of recipes.

Substitutes for coriander

1. Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are a parsley family member with a similar taste to coriander and traces of anise. The somewhat sweeter caraway seeds will substitute for coriander in most recipes.

Caraway seeds give a unique taste to spice rubs and marinades, particularly when grilled or roasted.

While caraway seeds are more fragrant than coriander, you may use the same amount of caraway seeds in recipes as you would coriander.

2. Cumin

Having an earthy taste similar to coriander, spicy and nutty cumin is often used with coriander in recipes, particularly in Middle Eastern, South American, and Asian foods.

Cumin, like coriander and caraway seeds, is a member of the parsley family. Cumin seeds are more frequent in Indian cuisine, although ground cumin is more common in Middle Eastern and Hispanic cuisines. Cumin may also be found in spice combinations like curry powder and garam masala.

Cumin, like coriander, should be used in lower amounts. If a recipe calls for a teaspoon of coriander, use half to three quarters of a teaspoon of cumin instead.

Whole cumin seeds that have been freshly roasted and ground have a more strong taste than store-bought ground cumin, and if you use whole seeds in a meal, they should be introduced early in the cooking process to allow the flavors to emerge.

If you’re using whole seeds instead of ground cumin, increase the amount by around 25%.

3. Curry powder

Since coriander is a significant component in curry powder, you may substitute curry powder for coriander when preparing Indian food. Just a tiny amount of curry powder should be used, and you will most likely have to skip or reduce some of the other spices in the recipe since many of them are in the curry powder.

It’s also worth noting that the turmeric in curry powder might give the meal a yellow tint.

Substitutes for Cilantro

1. Parsley

Flat leaf and curly leaf parsley are the two most common varieties of parsley used in cooking, and both are related to cilantro.

While parsley lacks the taste intensity of cilantro and is somewhat more bitter, flat leaf or Italian parsley has a peppery flavor without the soapiness that some associate with cilantro.

If the parsley is a touch harsh, a tiny quantity of sugar or honey helps sweeten it, and a sprinkle of basil or oregano added with the parsley will help give the dish more of a cilantro taste.

Parsley is also an excellent replacement for cilantro for garnishing foods and may be used in place of cilantro in certain recipes. Depending on the dish, you may also add a dash of lemon or lime juice to enhance the citrus flavor provided by cilantro.

2. Mint

Recipes from Mexico. While mint has a distinct taste distinct from cilantro, it will accentuate the flavors in tomato or fruit-based salsas and other Tex-Mex dishes.

If you prefer to use mint, use half the amount you would if you were using cilantro. A dash of balsamic vinegar with mint leaves will assist to lessen some of the dish’s chilly mint taste.

3. Basil

Fresh basil (Ocimum basilicum) may be used in place of cilantro in tomato salsa due to its similar hue. Fresh basil should always be used in salsas, and it may be used in the same quantity as cilantro.

If you can find Thai basil or Sweet Thai, this basil cultivar (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) is widespread in south east Asian cuisines and is often used as a cilantro alternative. Thai basil has a lot more spicy taste than Mediterranean basil, and its overtones of licorice, clove, and citrus are more comparable to cilantro’s flavor, making it an excellent alternative for cilantro. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you’re generally better off avoiding Thai basil.

Thai basil goes well with most beef, hog, and poultry recipes.

Last Words

The different tastes of coriander and cilantro are what make them so popular, but if you are one of the many people who just cannot like a meal that has coriander or cilantro added to it, or if you have simply ran out of coriander, it is nice to know that you do have a few alternative options.

You may need to substitute caraway seeds for coriander chicken, cumin for curry, or flat leaf parsley or mint for salsa, but these and the other replacements listed below may replace coriander or cilantro in virtually any dish.


Can coriander and cilantro be used interchangeably?

Coriander leaves are known as “cilantro” in Spanish. Nevertheless, the plant’s dried seeds are known as coriander. Globally, the situation is rather different. Coriander refers to the plant’s leaves and stalks, while coriander seeds refer to the dried seeds.

Does ground coriander taste like cilantro?

Do they have a distinct flavor? Yep. Although cilantro’s zesty flavor is divisive (it may taste like soap to some), coriander seeds are much more muted (think: warm, aromatic and slightly sweet). Coriander still has a citrus taste, but it now has a mild curry flavor.

What dried herb can I substitute for fresh cilantro?

As a substitute to fresh cilantro, dried parsley is the ideal herb to use.

Can I substitute cilantro for coriander leaves?

Substitute Coriander Leaves (Cilantro)

They not only appear similar, but they also have similar taste characteristics and are utilized to bring out the brightness of other components.

What can I substitute for coriander?

Coriander replaces cumin: When a recipe asks for ground coriander, there’s a strong chance it also calls for cumin.
Caraway: Caraway, like coriander, is available in both whole seeds and crushed powder.
Garam Masala: This spice is very essential to have on hand when making an Indian meal.
Curry Powder: 8th of March, 2020

What spice is closest to cilantro?

These are some of the most popular cilantro substitutes:
Thai basil.
Caraway seed.
Oregano from Mexico.

What is the closest flavor to cilantro?

Since cilantro and parsley are related, parsley is the greatest alternative for cilantro when you want a comparable flavor. Parsley comes in two varieties: Italian flat leaf parsley and curly parsley. They are the two most likely to be found in the produce section of your local supermarket.

What is difference between cilantro and coriander?

Is Cilantro the same as Coriander? While coriander may refer to either the herb or spice obtained from the plant’s seeds, cilantro solely refers to the plant’s herbaceous leaves.

What dried herb tastes like cilantro?

Culantro (Eryngium foetidum) (Eryngium foetidum)

Culantro is a heat-tolerant alternative for cilantro, with similar scent and taste. In addition to heat tolerance, culantro preserves its flavor well when dried, as opposed to cilantro leaves, which have the taste of tissue paper when dried.

Can I use dried coriander instead of fresh cilantro?

When substituting dried coriander for fresh cilantro, the standard guideline is 1 teaspoon dry for every 1 tablespoon fresh. Yet, when it comes to herbs, especially cilantro, it’s best to adhere to what the recipe asks for. Dried herbs behave differently in a recipe than fresh herbs.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *