Best Substitutes for Cumin [Ultimate List of 2020]


Cumin is mainly used to spice up a variety of dishes. But sometimes, you won’t have it in your cupboard, as cumin isn’t quite that quick and easy to find at local stores. And in most cases, you might want to look closer at the best cumin substitutes that can give you much better benefits, especially when it comes to taste, health advantages and so on. So to help you make a more informed decision — We have compiled a comprehensive list of the most suitable cumin alternatives today …

Best Cumin Substitutes

What is Cumin?

Cumin is among the most popular spices around the world. It’s regularly used in lots of countries, especially across Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, and South East Asia. While you can use cumin alone, it is also frequently mixed with other spices to create convenient blends. And these blends differ greatly, depending on the country they’re grown.

Cumin was found at excavation sites across Syria and Egypt, and it dated back 4000 years ago. Aside from cooking, historians say it was also used in the preservation of mummies.

Different Types of Cumin

The plant Cuminum cyminum is a member of the parsley family. It produces seeds that are then dried, ready for cooking. These seeds are gathered by hand.

Cumin Types

In recipes, you can use cumin seeds or powder. You can recognize cumin by its brown-yellow color. There is also black, green, and yellow cumin. Cumin has an Earthy taste, with both a hint of bitterness and a trace of sweetness.

But if you don’t have cumin at the moment, or if you want to take a closer look at some of the best substitutes out there today, then here’s a carefully hand-picked selection to help you out:

Top 12 Cumin Substitutes

1. Caraway Seeds

Caraway is also a member of the parsley family. This plant resembles the carrot plant. It prefers warmer climates, yet ironically — Finland produces approximately 28% of the world’s caraway.

Caraway Seeds

Technically, these aren’t seeds as each fruit only has one. You can tell them apart from cumin seeds because they are darker.

This spice can be used in bread, casseroles, desserts, and liquor, particularly in Scandinavia. Hungarians like to add it to savory scones and cheeses. It makes a great addition to root vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots. Many choose to include caraway in sausage meat, while some use it for curries and soups.

In the past, certain early communities believed caraway could help lovers spice up their relationship. And it’s still used by some healers today. The fruit from the caraway plant is quite aromatic, and it’s commonly turned into an essential oil, which is then used in soaps, perfumes, and some lotions.

This oil has a warm, delicious flavor. It’s often put in medication to improve its taste.

Caraway has plenty of health benefits. It’s known to help prevent hearing and hair loss. Plus, it has been known to assist the digestive system. It’s a natural probiotic, so those who suffer from bloating will love this seed. It’s also high in fiber and calcium. Just 100g contains 125% of our recommended daily iron intake.

Due to its similarity, Caraway is a favorite substitute for cumin because it doesn’t change the appearance of a dish though you might detect a hint of pepper and citrus.

Cumin is stronger and hotter, but caraway is more bitter. For this reason, it’s recommended for you to use half of the amount in a recipe. And remember, you can find caraway in seeds or powder form. So if the recipe says ½ a teaspoon of cumin powder, then use ¼ a teaspoon of caraway powder. And the same ratio is applied to seeds. But if you feel like you need a stronger flavor, add more, though slowly.

Caraway is easy to find in powder form and also as seeds. And if you can’t find it, then try looking for some of it its other names — Alcravea, Roman cumin or Wild cumin.

2. Coriander

The coriander plant is also a member of the same family as cumin. The main difference is that you can use all of the coriander plants in cooking, rather than just its seeds.


In North America, its leaves and stems are often called cilantro. Meanwhile, its seeds can be ground into coriander powder.

Coriander also has an interesting history. The first signs of cultivation date back in the second millennium BC. Archaeologists found coriander mericarps in Tutankhamen’s tomb. As coriander doesn’t grow in the wild in Egypt, many historians conclude that the ancient Egyptians cultivated the plant back then.

The most common use for coriander is in cooking. It can also be used as an essential oil, but this is less common. Meanwhile, in Belgium, coriander is mixed with orange peel to make certain local beers. It’s even said that coriander was one of the original secret ingredients for Coca-Cola.

Different parts of this plant add a variety of tastes to food. Its leaves are 97% water. They have higher vitamin A, C, and K content than this plant’s seeds. Plus, its leaves have a strong aroma with a hint of citrus. And they lose their aroma quite quickly after being taken from the plant.

So it’s better to use them raw and to add them just before serving. This way, you won’t lose the freshness of its flavor.

Meanwhile, coriander seeds or ground coriander also has a citrus taste. They have an extra boost of nuttiness and warmth. Its seeds have fewer vitamins, but you can increase your dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and magnesium intake with this spice.

Some chefs like to use its roots in Thai recipes. Its root has a much stronger taste.

You can use coriander to substitute cumin in curries and soups. It can provide the same lemony flavor as cumin, but it doesn’t have any heat. And if you’re making spicy curries, then you’ll need to substitute cumin with coriander and something like chili or curry powder for a much better kick. Also, try ¾ teaspoon of coriander for each teaspoon of cumin.

In Germany, people use coriander for sausages, while many Europeans use it for bread. On the other hand, it’s very popular in Thai cuisine because it adds the right amount of flavor without the same heat as you find in Indian cuisine.

The other good thing about coriander is that it’s really easy to grow. You can pick up its seeds from most major supermarkets or garden centers. It doesn’t take long for you to be able to use the freshest leaves in your dishes.

3. Chili Powder

We’ve all heard of chili powder. Most of us have used it. Some of us might even be guilty of buying any old chili powder without knowing the difference.

Chili Powder

The color and taste of the chili powder greatly depend on the type of chilies used. And here are some of the most known chilies today:

  • Aleppo
  • Ancho
  • Cayenne
  • Chipotle
  • Chile de árbol
  • Jalapeño
  • New Mexico
  • Pasilla
  • Piri Piri
  • Gochugaru

Piri Piri powder has an almost bright orange color. Meanwhile, Ancho chili powder has more of a dark brown hue. On the other hand, Cayenne peppers are notoriously hot. You can also find many chili powder blends that are mixed with other spices like garlic or onion.

Chili powder is quite popular in many types of cuisine all over the world. Each different chili provides a unique taste. Jalapeño chilies have a medium heat and are used in Mexican dishes.

And if anyone offers you a Carolina Reaper chili, then you’re advised to think twice. That’s because it’s said to be the hottest chili in the world.

Meanwhile, Cayenne chilies are notoriously hot. They can burn your eyes if you accidentally touch them after eating food with cayenne chilies. Because of its strength, you normally find this blended with other spices.

On the other hand, Indian cuisine uses Kashmiri chili powder. It’s brighter in color, but milder in the heat than some of the other chili powders mentioned earlier.

There isn’t any conceivable end to what you can do with chili powder. You can use it for chili-con-carne, fajitas, casseroles, deviled eggs and as a meat rub. It can also be used in any type of curry, from mild to spicy.

Don’t be surprised if there’s more than one variety of chili powder at your local store. Remember, it’s important to read the ingredients first. You’ll want to know if it’s pure chili powder, and which type of chili it comes from. So if it’s a chili powder blend, then you can probably switch the cumin for the blend at the same ratio.

As cumin is among the ingredients of lots of chili powder blends, it’s one of the best substitutes for cumin. And if you have mild chili powder, then you can use it at half of the amount of cumin. But if you have hot chili powder, then you’re recommended to reduce its amount, taste and then add more when necessary.

4. Garam Masala

Garam Masala is like adding gold dust to curries. It doesn’t come from one specific plant or seed. Instead, it’s a special blend of spices that combines all of your favorite flavors and aromas in a curry. It’s Earthy, sweet, and with a small hint of spice.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala originated in India. And its translation is brilliantly simple. ‘Garam’ means hot, and masala means a mixture of spices. Garam doesn’t refer to hot as in spicy, but it’s more about heating the body. Also, Indian’s have various curries based on Garam Masala, for example, Tikka masala and Tandoori masala.

If you have a store-bought version, then you’ll likely find that it has cumin in it. But if you want to make your own, then you can add cumin. But since we’re looking for the best cumin substitutes, then we’ll talk about the traditional Garam Masala Indian recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg

Simply mix all of the ingredients. Keep your spice blend in an air-tight container. This might seem like a lot of effort, but it’ll last for a long time. Plus, dishes often taste better when it’s all homemade.

Other ingredients that you can add are garlic, onion, chili and a tiny pinch of star anise if you have it available. Also, ground nuts may be added for a slightly different, and more nutty taste. Meanwhile, others like to turn their blend into a paste. So try adding a small amount of water, vinegar, or a 50/50 mix.

As a general rule, Garam Masala shouldn’t be spicy. Instead, you should feel some warmth, but at the same time, a flowery flavor and a slightly peppery taste. On the other hand, the nutmeg and cinnamon will bring a sweet, Earthy taste to the food.

And feel free to add more or less to your Garam Masala, depending on your tastes. If you use this recipe, then it’s best to start by substituting the cumin for half of your homemade blend.

There aren’t as many vitamins in Garam Masala as other cumin substitutes. But it does have antioxidants and beneficial digestive properties. It might also help balance your blood sugar levels.

Though don’t think you have to limit your Garam Masala to curries. Rather, this can be used to season any type of meat before cooking. It can be added to soups, lentils, or just sprinkled over eggs or salads.

5. Curry Powder

Curry powder is another Indian blend of spices. In modern cooking, curry powder is now associated more with British cooking. That’s because Indian cuisine sticks to Garam Masala. On the other hand, the British took various Indian spices to create their blend.

Curry Powder

The first mention of curry powder in a British recipe book was in the 18th century. Before the beginning of the 19th century, you could buy it from some stores. Companies like Crosse & Blackwell were famous for their curry powder brand, as was Sharwood’s.

By the mid-19th century, the Brits had taken their curry powder back to Asia. It was introduced to Meiji, Japan, and soon became known as Japanese curry.

One of the main ingredients for curry powder is also cumin. If you’re looking for an easy substitute, then curry powder can add a lot of very similar flavors to your recipes. And if you can’t stand the taste of cumin, then you can replace it with smoked paprika. Here’s a simple recipe for starters:

  • 2 tablespoons of ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin/smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or ground chilies

As with the Garam Masala, put all of the ingredients together, and mix them well. Also, many love making curry powder paste by adding a small amount of lemon or lime juice. Remember, it’s best to keep a paste in the fridge.

There are a lot of other spices in curry powder. There are some chefs who like the taste of ginger or garlic in curry powder. You can also add more or less of cayenne pepper or ground chilies for a milder or hotter curry. Your curry powder will be both sweet and spicy, and if you have made a paste, you can enjoy a citrus zing.

Curry powder can be used in soups, stews, or mixed with vegetables and meat. For the more adventurous, you can add it to your hamburger patties, or even to scrambled eggs, curry sauce and chips.

In some cases, curry powder is better than cumin. To make a curry, you should have all of the necessary spices in one blend.

6. Chipotle Powder

Some assume Chipotle powder is the same as chili powder. But chili powder can be different types of chilies and often blended with other spices. Meanwhile, the chipotle powder is jalapeño chilies that have been dried, smoked, and ground into a powder.

Chipotle Powder

Generally speaking, Chipotle powder is hotter than chili powder, despite cayenne chilies being the main ingredient. This is because chili powder is produced for the masses. So this means it’s supposed to be more suitable for many different tastes.

You can also buy Chipotle seasoning. The main ingredient is still jalapeño chilies, along with thyme, oregano, and sometimes smoked paprika. Whether it’s Chipotle powder or seasoning, the principal flavor is smoked and Earthy.

Chipotle powder is brilliant for adding flair to grilled meats, especially chicken. Any recipe that requires shredded Mexican beef will be improved with a little Chipotle powder. You might even like its taste in various salad dressings.

Both cumin and Chipotle powder add heat to any dish. You may taste more Earthiness with cumin because Chipotle has a stronger smoked flavor. And some of the best recipes to substitute cumin for Chipolte powder are Southwestern recipes.

Chipotle has several health benefits that you won’t find with cumin. It’s rich in Vitamin C and is also wonderful for the skin. Meanwhile, jalapeños have strong anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown they can kill up to 40 types of cancerous cells.

Like cumin, Chipotle can help in weight loss and reduce fat. Cumin and spicy chilies help kill food borne bacteria and fight infections.

You can replace cumin with the same amount of Chipotle powder. If you choose a Chipotle seasoning, then its taste is likely to depend on its other ingredients. Also, you’re recommended to start with a little seasoning and to add more if you feel the need.

7. Paprika Powder

Paprika and chili powder are often confused because of their striking red color. Paprika comes from the Capsicum annuum plant. The bell peppers (or sweet peppers) are dried and ground into a pepper.

Paprika Powder

It originated in Central America and even grew wild in Central Mexico. It came to Spain in the 16th century, and from there, it was introduced to other European countries.

The flavor of paprika depends on how the powder is made. For instance, mild variants have more than half the seeds removed. Meanwhile, hot paprika contains seeds, stalks, and placentas. And regardless of its heat, paprika has a sweet taste.

Like chili powder, there are different varieties. Noble sweet is the most common paprika, which is bright red. Delicate is milder paprika and is often in a darker red that has very rich flavors. On the other hand, rose is mildly pungent paprika with a pale red color.

Paprika has varying flavors and aromas, depending on the area the peppers are grown. In Spain, it can be sweet, spicy, or sweet and spicy. Meanwhile, other European spicy paprika variants aren’t nearly as hot as ground cayenne. So it’s best compared to standard chili powders in the USA.

Sometimes, bell peppers are smoked before they’re dried and ground into powder. You can still taste some sweetness, but there’s also bound to be strong, smoky flavors.

Paprika is still a favorite spice in Spain today. It’s the main spice that’s used to flavor chorizo. In Spain, it’s a “go-to spice,” which means if in doubt, then add paprika.

Further east, the Portuguese use it in fish stew. On the other hand, Hungarians have eight different classifications of paprika. And Hungarian goulash and chicken paprikash wouldn’t be the same without paprika.

How you replace cumin with paprika depends on the variety of your paprika. Sweet paprika won’t have the same heat as cumin. You could replace half the cumin with paprika, and the other half with chili powder. And if your paprika is spicy, then use the same amount as you would for cumin.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric is a beautiful flowering plant that can grow to around a meter high. They’re native to Asia, particularly areas with average temperatures of between 68 and 86°F, and especially in places with a lot of rain. This plant (Curcuma longa) is a member of the ginger family.


To get turmeric powder, you take the roots of the plant and dry them. Occasionally, they’re boiled before drying. Afterward, they’re ground into a yellow-orange powder.

Turmeric is often used as a coloring agent, as well as a spice. And did you know that the robes of most Buddhist monks are made from turmeric dye? Plus, when you spot the additive E100, then that means its coloring agent is turmeric.

Turmeric is used in many Asian dishes, especially as a curry base. In Thai cuisine, fresh turmeric rhizomes budding roots) are used for a clean, crisp taste. Meanwhile, South Africans use turmeric to add rich yellow color to certain rice dishes. Also, there’s even turmeric milk.

Aside from its versatility, turmeric is ranked as one of the most effective nutritional supplements around. And here are some of its main health benefits:

  • It’s a natural anti-inflammatory;
  • It can help prevent heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer’s;
  • It’s an antioxidant;
  • It increases brain function;
  • It can help fight depression;
  • It may help delay aging and age-related chronic diseases; and
  • Like cumin, it’s high in iron.

You’re likely to taste a mustardy flavor when you try turmeric, maybe even hints of ginger and orange. But you’re bound to notice its bitterness. It’s Earthy like cumin, but not as hot.

Turmeric has its advantages over cumin. Cumin can easily overpower a dish because of its strong taste. But as turmeric is milder, it’s easier to blend with more recipes. Though as a potential downside, turmeric changes the color of your dishes. In most cases, curries will have a lighter, yellow color.

Most are confident in using turmeric for meats and curries. Also, it’s a great ingredient for adding extra flavor and nutrients to smoothies and green shakes as you normally would with cumin.

As it isn’t as hot as cumin, you can use the same amount of turmeric as cumin. And if you want to make your recipe a little hotter, then you can try adding chili powder or spicy paprika. This will also help counteract the yellow color of turmeric.

9. Fennel Seeds

For this substitute, we’re going to move away from Asian cuisine and take a closer look at Italian cuisine. This is because fennel seeds don’t have the same spicy heat that you want to taste in a curry.

Fennel Seeds

Foeniculum vulgare, the flowering plant known as fennel, is indigenous to coastal areas of the Mediterranean. The bulb-like stem is used as a vegetable. While called seeds, the correct term is fruit. Like coriander, the “seed” comes from just one fruit, so technically, they aren’t seeds.

Fennel fruit is round, and when recently dried, they’re brownish-yellow. You can tell when these fruits are starting to age once they fade to grey.

Unusual use of the fennel fruits (seeds) is as a breath freshener. They’re often coated in sugar, and look like colorful, uneven Ticktacks. In India and Pakistan, you can find fennel tea, which is known to aid the digestive system.

As expected, this has alternative health benefits. Fennel fruits can provide relief to breathing difficulties and feelings of tightness in the chest, including mild to moderate chest pains. Plus, they can reduce the feeling of nausea, and are also great for skin conditions like rashes, itchy, or swollen skin.

It works well as a cumin substitute because it gives a warm (yet not overly spicy) flavor. It’s also very aromatic. You can buy ground fennel or fennel fruits. If you want to use fennel seeds, crack them open under a knife blade to release its aroma.

As it grows so well in the Mediterranean, Italians love to add ground fennel fruit to meatballs, sausages, and sauces. Fennel fruit goes well with fish and pork. If you add it to soft cheese, then you’ll have a richer, Earthy taste. Some add a sprinkle of cumin to salads, but there isn’t any problem using ground fennel instead.

It’s also a lot sweeter than cumin, so be careful not to add too much. These can also be used in desserts, whereas cumin can’t. The Romans used fennel seeds in cakes. For soups, curries, and stews, you can replace it with the same amount of cumin. For curries, taste the sauce before deciding whether you want to add more heat.

10. Anise Seeds

Anise has a similar taste as fennel, but it’s closer to licorice in flavor. Fennel is considered a vegetable, and anise is a spice. For this reason, it may not appeal to everyone. It comes from the Pimpinella anisum plant and is often called aniseed.

Anise Seeds

It was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East. Egyptians have been growing anise for around 4,000 years. Today, it is often grown in the Mediterranean. Aside from cooking, it’s used to make essential oils and herbal medicine. Also, you’re likely to find many countries that use anise to add flavor to liquor.

There’s a difference between anise and star anise. Star anise is easily identified by its star shape. But you probably wouldn’t notice a great deal of difference in the taste. Their origins are different, and that’s why they’re used in different cuisines. Anise is grown in Southwest Asia. Meanwhile, star anise is grown in China and Vietnam.

Anise is normally used more in Indian cuisine. Star anise is typically in Chinese cooking. It’s one of the five ingredients of the well-known Chinese five-spice powder. The Vietnamese can’t make their noodle soup without anise.

Neither anise nor star anise should be confused with Japanese star anise. It’s a close relative to the star anise, and its fruit is the same shape. But it’s highly toxic.

The trick with anise is to use it as a substitute with caraway. And if you only use anise, then its taste will be overbearing. Caraway will take away the strong licorice flavor and balance the aromas. You’re also bound to have less bitterness.

To substitute ½ teaspoon of cumin, use ¼ teaspoon of anise and ¼ teaspoon of caraway. This will make a deliciously mild, aromatic, and Earthy curry. And remember, caraway isn’t as hot as cumin. So if you’re looking for more spice, then start with ¼ teaspoon of chili powder. Plus, when using anise as an alternative to cumin, you might need to experiment a little to get your preferred taste.

11. Taco Seasoning

Taco seasoning is loved by many all around the world. It’s something that most have a packet of somewhere in their kitchen cupboards. It’s a great substitute for cumin in many recipes, but of course, not all.

Taco Seasoning

As a seasoning, it is already mixed with various herbs and spices. One of its ingredients is cumin. But if you’re planning to make your taco seasoning, then switch out cumin for turmeric, caraway or coriander.

Other ingredients are chili powder, paprika powder, oregano powder, and onion powder. You may also add salt, pepper, and garlic. Just as we have done with our other homemade seasons, add all the ingredients and mix well. You can even adjust the flavor by using sweet, spicy, or smoked paprika.

When you’re making calculations, it’s fine to use the 1:1 ratio. Take into consideration the salt in the taco seasoning. Salt helps bring out all of the flavors in a dish, but too much can ruin a good meal. Usually, you would add salt with cumin. You probably don’t with taco seasoning.

Realistically, taco seasoning isn’t screaming with nutritional benefits. To make it as healthy as possible, we advise you to make your own. At least that way, you know there aren’t any harmful additives.

Taco seasoning is more often associated with Mexican cooking. You can add it to chicken or beef fajitas, and you can use it as a meat rub, especially for ribs.

Now it might be its name that tends to put off some to use it in curries, but you can. The breakdown of its ingredients shows you that there isn’t anything in taco seasoning that you wouldn’t put in a curry.

And if you want to make taco sauce, then you can add tomato sauce, water or vinegar to the seasoning. It’s a great alternative to marinading meat in cumin and olive oil. Plus, taco seasoning can be sprinkled onto salads, added to dips and used for cooking vegetables.

Taco seasoning has the right amount of heat for your recipes, just as cumin. If you want to reduce the heat and add a bit of turmeric. Then that’ll add some Earthiness as well as some health benefits.

12. Oregano

Oregano is native to Southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean. Its history in the USA is a lot shorter than in many other countries. This means it only became a staple herb when soldiers came home from Europe after the war. It was known as the “pizza herb,” even though Italians use it more for roasting, grilling, and frying meat and vegetables.


In Turkey, oregano is paired with mutton and lamb. In the Philippines, when boiling water buffalo, oregano takes away the strong smell of the meat.

Its leaves can be used fresh or dried, and also turned into a flaky powder. It’s affected by the climate and the soil. Oregano from colder climates doesn’t have as much flavor.

Oregano is a member of the mint family. Like any mint plants, it has a very bold flavor with a sharp, pungent taste. It’s also rather bitter. You need to take care when using oregano for your recipes. While it’s an intense herb, a little too much oregano might provide a little too much warmth.

Rich in Vitamin K, oregano helps maintain bone density and promote bone growth. It’s also full of fiber, iron, omega fatty acids, and manganese. You can use it as an anti-inflammatory, and it can also reduce bloating. Some of its other benefits include:

  • Reducing dandruff and acne;
  • Easing toothache, earache, and headaches;
  • Fighting fatigue; and
  • Relieving some allergies.

It’s quite bizarre to consider using an Italian herb as a cumin substitute. When you try to find the similarities between mint and parsley, then this alternative becomes stranger. But it works because of the fullness of the flavor. It packs a punch like cumin does, though most are familiar in using it in a variety of foods rather than just curries.

You can use oregano in all of your recipes that require cumin. Try adding it to soups, casseroles, sauces, meat, vegetables, and healthy drinks. But remember, oregano doesn’t work with all other herbs and spices. So pay attention to the other ingredients in your recipes to make sure there isn’t another strong herb or spice.

Oregano works best with coriander. If you need 1/ teaspoon of cumin, then replace it with ½ teaspoon of oregano and ½ a teaspoon of coriander.

What’s the Best Cumin Substitute?

Remember, everyone has their reasons for deciding to use a cumin substitute. So it isn’t always because you don’t have cumin at the moment. Instead, many of us tend to choose a different herb or spice because we don’t like the taste of cumin itself. Or perhaps we prefer alternative health benefits.

And to choose the best cumin substitute, you need to think about the dish you’re cooking. For curries, the best alternatives are coriander or turmeric. They add a nice aroma to curries, as well as the traditional Asian flavor. Coriander adds the same heat as cumin, but turmeric is easier to blend with other spices. Just keep in mind that turmeric will affect the color of your dish.

On the other hand, chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika are excellent choices if you want spice and heat that cumin provides. All three alternatives can be used in curries, soups salads or meat, fish, and vegetables. Whether you want to marinade or dry rub meat, these three are great substitutes.

Chili powder is quite a standard alternative. The more you use, the spicier the result. Meanwhile, paprika has more varieties. So check whether you have sweet, spicy, sweet and spicy or smoked. That’s because each will change the outcome of your recipe.

Our personal favorites are the seasons and the blends, in particular, curry powder. It isn’t just a great all-rounder, but it’s also cheap and easy to find.

And if we were to recommend Garam Masala or Taco seasoning, then we suggest making your own. You can tweak the ingredients to adjust the flavor to best match your liking, and you’ll know that exactly what you want is in the mix. Plus, this allows you to control the amount of salt you consume.

Finally, spices like anise, fennel, and oregano are perfectly good substitutes to cumin. But they might require a little more experimentation. Also, you’ll need to check other herbs and spices in your recipe. This is to make sure that they don’t combine to become overpowering.

Now with these alternatives, we suggest you start off adding smaller amounts, tasting, and then adding more if necessary. You can pair them with other spices like coriander and caraway. But once you add too much, it’s quite difficult to counteract their powerful flavors.

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