substitutes for cumin that people like

Cumin is a potent spice that can be utilized in all kinds of cuisines. But, if you don’t cook curries and chili often you might not have cumin on your spice cabinet that’s when substitute for cumin comes to your rescue for making tasty dishes. Cumin is one of the spices that should not be left out, as without cumin the food will appear to have missed something important.

cumin seeds image

What is a Cumin Seed?

Cumin is a dried spice most often found in South Asian countries. It is part of the parsley family. The spice is commonly used for African, Indian, and certain Latin American dishes. Cumin seeds and their powder are readily available in the marketplace.

If you are unable to locate cumin in the local supermarket, you can try its substitutes in your food. It adds a distinct taste to food. The ingredient is found in nearly 90% of Indian food. It is mainly grown in China, the Mediterranean, The Caribbean, North and South America as well as Africa.

You can’t just pick up the spice you have on your shelf to use as an alternative to cumin. In the end, using ground oregano or sesame won’t provide the flavor you’re looking for. So, what’s an acceptable alternative to cumin? The exact flavor profile of cumin can require the correct combination of cumin spice or you might prefer to make a cumin substitute that gives you the flavor same as cumin.

substitutes and alternative for cumin seeds

Garam Masala

Though it is typically employed when cooking South Asian dishes, the garam masala spice is a great ingredient to any dish which requires a replacement for cumin. Cumin is often a component in garam masala along with coriander, cardamom seeds, and cinnamon.

The best method of using garam masala as a substitute for cumin powder would be to add half a teaspoon garam masala to each 1 teaspoon cumin that the recipe calls for. Then, it might be beneficial to test the food and alter the number of spices depending on the flavor you’re searching for.

Always remember that your recipe might require the other ingredients that are in the garam masala that could cause the flavor to become too strong if they are added.

What’s the flavor of cumin?

Cumin is described by many as being a sharp, earthy flavor with a hint of citrus. It is frequently added to food items for the warmest and almost bittersweet taste throughout. Some chefs say that cumin may come up as somewhat spicy. It’s not advised to smell the powder by itself due to evident reasons.

Coriander seeds

Coriander seeds differ in appearance and taste. It is a bit sweeter than cumin seeds. The smell that coriander seeds emit is distinct. It adds a distinctive flavor to food items which makes food attractive and tasty. It is commonly utilized in Indian cuisines, soups and gravy dishes, and meat as well to improve the taste.

Coriander seeds are great for your health. They have many health benefits. Coriander seeds have Vitamin A along with Vitamin C which helps fight cough and cold. Coriander seeds are rich in antioxidants which aid in the digestion of your food. It helps maintain the blood sugar levels that are ideal for those who suffer from diabetes or high cholesterol.


The seeds of cumin can be stored in the pantry or cupboard for up to one year. They can also be frozen and stored for longer. Freeze cumin retains its flavor for a longer period. Ground cumin must be kept in a dry and cool location and utilized within six months.

What season does cumin grow?

Cumin plant care needs an extended, hot summer which lasts from 3 to 4 months and a temperature that is around 29°C in the daytime. Cumin is planted in the spring by dividing the seeds into rows spaced 2 feet apart in well-drained, fertile soil or cooler climates.

Caraway Seeds

Caraway is a close relative of cumin, much like coriander. Caraway is also part of the parsley family, having its seeds identical to that of cumin seeds. This makes it an excellent substitute for cumin. Similar to cumin seeds, caraway seeds possess an earthy and slightly warm taste. They also have a subtle hint of anise. They are particularly good in curry dishes that make use of a small number of cumin seeds in the whole form to make a tempering of hot oil.

But, you can also grind caraway seeds into powder and then use the powder in recipes using ground cumin. Caraway seeds are usually utilized in potato salads and rye bread. You can also find them in certain Indian or Middle Eastern spice blends.

As compared with coriander, it’s milder than cumin. You may have to add pepper or cayenne flakes to offset the spice and heat. As a general rule, you should use whole caraway seeds instead of cumin seeds. Also, you can choose the powdered variant in place of the ground cumin.

caraway seeds


Considered an extremely nutritious food and a superfood, cumin has been used for health benefits from ancient times. It is known for its capacity to help control blood sugar as well as its iron content. It is commonly used to aid digestion particularly in India where seeds are chewed in the aftermath of eating.

Cumin is also associated with better cholesterol levels as well as weight loss and prevention of diabetes. it also enhances the body’s capacity to process antioxidants.

Fennel Seeds

Cumin and Fennel are alike in appearance, however, they differ in flavor. Cumin seeds have a bitter taste, while Fennel has a sweeter flavor. But, Fennel seeds do not mix as well as caraway seeds, however, they can be utilized in various dishes such as Italian sausages, meatballs, and dips.

If someone is suffering from high blood pressure, they must consume fennel seeds as part of their diet. It can help with respiratory diseases like asthma, etc. It cleanses the blood and helps remove the impurities. It also assists in reducing inflammation of the intestines and eliminates bacteria. Fennel seeds can also improve eyesight and ease constipation.

substitute for fennel seed


Cumin is used in cooking for hundreds of years. Excavated sites in Syria, as well as ancient Egypt, have provided evidence that this delicious spice was utilized as a food ingredient. It was also an important factor to preserve mummies.

The seeds are yellowish-brown and resemble caraway seeds in look and appearance. Cumin was also an important component of Indian cooking for many thousands of years. Cumin is a spice introduced into the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists.

It has since become an essential component of Latin American cuisine, particularly in Mexican dishes. The cumin plant is being grown throughout areas like the Indian subcontinent, North Africa, Mexico, Chile, and China.

Taco seasonings

Taco seasoning is an excellent substitute for cumin in Mexican food. In addition to the cumin, taco seasoning is made up of the ingredients of chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, red chilly flakes, salt, and paprika.

Make use of a bit less taco seasoning to get the same quantity of cumin specified in the recipe. Then alter according to your taste. Keep in mind that taco seasoning is made up of plenty of salt, and you may want to cut down on the amounts of salt you use in your recipe if you’re using it to replace cumin, to achieve the perfect balance of flavor.

If you want to use taco seasoning to replace cumin, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning per tablespoon of cumin ground. Taco seasoning isn’t a good fit for every dish and might have a conflicting taste profile with dishes like curries. But, it is often excellent for a dry rub for the grill, roasted, or pan-fried meats.

What is the difference between cumin and cumin seeds?

Like many spices, cumin is available in two types, both of which can bring a distinct level of flavor to meals. In Indian food, the seeds are typically cooked in oil before the beginning of cooking. The oil is then infused and gives flavor to the ingredients that are cooked later. The method of cooking with whole cumin will ensure that the entire dish is flavorful.

Cumin seeds can be lightly baked in a dry skillet or pan which releases their flavors. When cooked along with other components, the cumin comes out as a toasted spice that is nutty.

However, the cumin that is roasted can be ground before mixing in other ingredients. If you make the cumin yourself in its seed form it will have a flavor that is rich and intense. This is the way to go for traditional Indian cooking and adds an entirely new level of sophistication and nuance.

It is also possible to purchase prepared ground cumin powder. In contrast to cumin that needs to cook in the dish to allow flavors to come out. Cumin powder is slightly less than the other spices and can be added to dishes at any point during cook time.

Is cumin cold or hot in the wild?

Cumin seeds – In tiny quantities, cumin seeds and ground powder can cool. They also serve as an effective anti-carminative and digestive aid.

Is cumin good for your skin?

Cumin is high in inflammation-fighting antioxidants that help to repair the damaged skin and keep skin looking young. Cumin has also been proven to be antibacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory to calm skin and help keep it clear of blemishes. The essential oils found in cumin aid in taming the skin and improve circulation.

Curry Powder

Another mix of spices that usually is made up of cumin, curry powder is the traditional Indian spices, with an earthy flavor and a hint of spicy chili. Although it’s a good substitute, you’ll have to be aware of the measurement: make sure you use only half of the curry powder as you would use the amount of cumin in the recipe because of the intensity and color of curry powder could differ significantly from the cumin.

Curry powder is a popular ingredient in the Caribbean as well as Southeast Asian cuisines. You can add half a teaspoon of curry powder to your meal in place of cumin. You can alter the quantity depending on the flavor or taste appearance of your dish. As cooking involves a lot of heat, it’s recommended to start small rather instead of overdoing it.

Can you take raw cumin seeds?

It’s an excellent aid in digestion, and it can help prevent diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion nausea, morning sickness. If you want instant relief from the acidity takes a small amount full of cumin seeds in raw form.

Can cumin be used in the gastric problem?

Cumin and Jeera water are said for their essential oils which stimulate salivary glands and assist in the efficient digestive process of foods. It is believed to be among the most effective home remedies to treat gas.

Chili Powder

As you can see, chili powder is quite distinct from cumin seeds powder. Every chili powder maker uses distinct methods of making chili powder. Some use cumin powder to impart a richer flavor to food. This is why this particular chili powder can be utilized as an alternative to Cumin powder in making many tasty chili dishes. Chili powder is abundant in iron and copper minerals. Chili powder improves blood flow, which helps to eliminate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Please note that excessive consumption of spicy foods can cause ulcers, inflammation, and a rash of the stomach and the intestine.

Are kidneys benefited by cumin?

With the numerous benefits and especially the antioxidant properties in black cumin it can be concluded that the seeds found in this plant can shield the kidneys from the effects of oxidative stress in I/R injuries.

Why is the smell of cumin so strong?

In the process of breaking down onions, garlic, and spices such as cumin and curry sulfur-like compounds are made. These compounds can be detected in your breath. They may additionally be a reaction with sweat that you shed to create body smell.

Anise seeds

Anise seeds are used to substitute cumin. The addition of anise seeds will enhance the aroma and flavor of your meals. It could also be a suitable Cumin substitute. Anise seeds have more antioxidants. It can improve heart health. It contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. This can help you combat yeast infections, such as throat infections and urinary infections.

Checkout: substitutes for sumac to make your dishes citrusy

Can cumin be used in medicine?

Seeds of cumin plants can be used in the production of medicines. Cumin is used to treat a variety of ailments, such as abnormal levels of blood fats or cholesterol (dyslipidemia), obesity, and many more, but there is no scientific evidence to back these claims. In food, spices, and beverages it is utilized as a flavoring ingredient.

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