Cumin is a savory, nutty and almost lemony spice that’s used in many different dishes from many different regions of the world. While cumin offers an essential flavor to many dishes, it also has many alternatives you can use if you find yourself halfway through cooking your dish only to realize you’re out of cumin.
Substitutes for Cumin
Cumin’s earthy, aromatic essence with a citrusy note, is widely loved in many recipes like this dark side chili, our eggplant curry and this Afghan-style saffron rice. If you don’t have any cumin in the spice cabinet, you can still add depth and aromatics with one of the substitutes here:
- Ground coriander
- Caraway seeds
- Chili powder
- Taco seasoning
- Curry powder
- Garam masala
- Fennel seeds
Common Cumin Substitution Questions
What Is a Good Cumin Substitute in Hummus?
Hummus is a mediterranean dip and spread, used for dipping veggies or spreading onto pita for a falafel sandwich. Hummus’ star flavor is thanks to cumin, so what should you use if you don’t have cumin on hand? Using curry powder in place of cumin is a bit of a cheat since cumin is a main ingredient in curry powder, but if you have it on hand, it works perfectly. Other than that, you can use ground coriander or garam masala to add the cumin notes we love in hummus.
What Is a Good Cumin Substitute in Chili or tacos?
Both chili and tacos have very cumin-forward flavors that compliment the rich, meaty flavor in ground beef. If you don’t have cumin for either of these dishes, use chili powder or taco seasoning instead. If you don’t have either of those, you can use curry powder, ground coriander, paprika, or caraway seeds to take the place of cumin.