Spice and Herb Substitutions

Spice and Herb Substitutions

Spice and Herb Substitutions

Sometimes you can find yourself ready to cook a recipe, but you’re missing a key spice or herb. Here’s a quick spice and herb substitutions chart to help you out. Some of these spices are exotic and hard to come by and you’re not sure you’ll use them enough to warrant purchasing them. This substitution list will help you with that also. Remember though, that when you’re substituting, the flavor won’t by exactly as expected in your recipe. You’ll have to adjust it to your own taste. I recommend you take a look at the website for Penzey’s Spices at www.penzeys.com. There are also mixes that can be helpful. This can guide you to create your own mixes and to understand the readily available mixes and their ingredients.

Spice, Spice Mix or HerbA Mix of and/or SubstitutionsNotes
Ajowan / Bishop's Weedcaraway; mix of thyme and cuminIndia, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt & Near East
Allspicecinnamon; dash of cloves, nutmeg or mace
Anise Seeda few drops of anise extract; or fennel seeds
Annato Powdermix of turmeric and paprika; saffronMexican
Apple Pie Spicecinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
Asafoetida / HingfennelIndian
Basiloregano; thyme
Berbere Spice Mixdried red chilies, black peppercorns, ground ginger, cloves, coriander seeds, ajowan, allspice berries, green cardamom seeds, fenugreek, a cinnamon stickEthiopian
Black Peppergrains of paradise
Cardamomginger
Caraway Seedfennel seed; aniseedWestern Asia, Europe and North Africa
CassiacinnamonChina, Indian, Padang, Saigon
Cayenne PepperSriracha (chili sauce with garlic); Tabasco sauce
Celery Saltsalt and ground celery seed
Chamushka/Nigella SeedscuminIndian
Chat Masalaground asafetida, mint, ginger, ajowan, cayenne, black salt, mango powder, cumin, dried pomegranate seedsIndian
Cherviltarragon; parsley
Chili Powdergarlic, onion, cumin, oregano, allspice, salt, plus possible other spices
Chivesgreen onions; leeks
Cilantroparsley with a splash or lime juice or zest
Cinnamonallspice or nutmeg, but use only about 1/3 or less
Clovesallspice; cinnamon; or nutmeg
Coriander (ground) Seedsthese are Cilantro's seeds; no close substitute, so better to just omitMexican, Latino, Middle Eastern, Indian
Cream of TartarNot easily substituted. Use whenever called for because a substitute can definitely change your final product.
Cuminchili powder
Curry Powder (basic)coriander seeds, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek, ground ginger, turmericVaries greatly from Country to Country
Fagaramint & lime; Sichuan pepper leavesAsian
Fenugreek seedcurry powderIndian, Punjabi
Filé (Gumbo)ground sassafras leaves; also known as Gumbo FileCreole; FL, MS, AL, LA
Five Spice Powdera blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, ginger and Szechuan peppercornsChinese; Asian
Galangalginger root (but is only 1/2 as potent)Asian, Thai, Vietnam, Laos
Garam Masalaa blend of coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, chamushka, caraway, cloves, ginger, nutmegIndian, Punjabi style
Gingercinnamon; nutmeg; allspice; or mace
Grains of Paradiseblack pepper and cardamom
Herbs de Provencea blend of rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, lavenderFrance
Horseradishwasabi ; black radish
Italian Seasoninga blend of oregano, basil, rosemary, and red pepper flakes
Jerk Seasoningchilies, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, garlic, onion powderJamaica, Caribbean region
Juniper Berriesblack pepper; crushed dried blueberries; a shot of gin
Lavenderthyme; marjoram; a few drops of Parfait Amour
Lemon Grassfresh lemon zest; lemon balm; lemon verbenaThailand, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
Macecinnamon; nutmeg; allspice; or ginger
Marjoramoregano
Mintbasil; rosemary; or marjoram
Mustardwasabi power (1/2 the amount asked for); horseradish powder
Nigella Seeds/Chamushkacumin
Nutmegcinnamon; ginger; or mace
Old Bay Seasoninga blend of celery salt, celery seed, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, black pepper, cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon and paprika
Oreganobasil; thyme
OrrisrootraspberriesMiddle East, North African, Moroccan
Panch Phorancumin seeds, fennel, mustard, fenugreek nigellaIndian
Paprikaturmeric/cayenne (60/40)South America, Hungary, Spain
Parsleycilantro; chervil
Pickling Spiceblack peppercorns, yellow mustard seeds, hot red pepper flakes, allspice berries, dill seeds, mace, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, whole cloves, ground ginger
Poultry Seasoningsage plus a blend of any to your taste: thyme, black pepper; rosemary, marjoram
Pumpkin Pie Spicea blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice
Quarte-Epicesblack peppercorns, whole cloves, nutmeg, ground gingerFrench (four spices)
Ras-el Hanoutpeppercorns, cardamom, mace, galangal, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger turmeric, nigella, lavender, orrisroot, cassia, fennel seeds. Rosebuds
Red Pepper Flakesblack pepper ; dash of bottled hot sauce
Rosemarytarragon; thyme; or savory
Saffron Threadsturmeric; annato powderUsed mostly to mimic color
Sagemarjoram; rosemary; savory; or poultry seasoning
Sanshomix of black pepper and lemon peelJapanese
Sansho 7 Spice Mixsansho, seaweed, chili, orange peel, poppy seeds, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds
Savorymarjoram; thyme; or sage
Star Anise5 spice powder (especially in Asian dishes)
Sumaclemon zestMiddle East
Tarragonchervil; ground fennel seed; or ground anise
Thymebasil; oregano; marjoram; or savory
Turmericdash of saffron plus ground mustard powder; annato powder
Zahtarsumac, roasted sesame seeds, ground thymeMiddle Eastern
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