Is coriander the same as cloves?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Is coriander the same as cloves?” We will also discuss if they go well together as well as the possible substitutes for cloves.

Is coriander the same as cloves?

No, coriander is not the same as cloves. However, coriander powder and ground cloves can be used as a substitute for one another sometimes. Coriander powder comes from coriander seeds. Whole cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree. It has a mild and grassy 

Where does coriander come from?

Coriander comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum, a member of the parsley family. It is also commonly known by names such as Chinese parsley, dhania, or cilantro. The coriander powder or ground coriander is made from the dried seeds of the coriander plant. 

Many people get confused when it comes to coriander and cilantro. Usually, the term coriander is used for the spice while cilantro refers to the leaves. Both the seeds as well as the leaves are widely used in cooking all over the world. 

The coriander plant blossoms and produces small white flowers and clusters of tiny seeds. The seeds are harvested and used for spice while the leaves are mostly used for garnish.

Where do cloves come from?

Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of an evergreen tree native to eastern Indonesia. They are known as versatile spices that can be used in sweet as well as savory dishes. 

They look like small pins or nails. In fact, the name “clove” is said to come from the Latin word clavus which means nails. They are dark brown and extremely aromatic. They can be used whole or in ground form and usually, both these forms of cloves are used differently.

Do coriander and cloves go well together?

Yes, coriander goes very well with cloves while preparing different sweet and savory dishes. Coriander goes well with almost every other spice out there and cloves are no exception. Ground cloves are usually used in making bakery items and drinks for which coriander is not suitable. 

However, whole cloves are used early in the cooking process by tempering in hot oil along with other spices like cardamom, curry leaves, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds. 

After all these different flavors and aromas are absorbed by the oil, you may choose to separate the spices or keep them according to your preference. 

This usually works great while making curries. Or you can use it together with coriander powder which is usually used later during the cooking process.

Are coriander powder and cilantro the same?

This is a common question that most people have, and the answer is no, coriander powder and cilantro are not the same. Unlike the difference between coriander powder and dried coriander seeds, the difference between cilantro and ground coriander is huge. Not only do they smell different but their flavors are also completely different from one another.

If we’re talking about cilantro then the opinions are always divided. Many people hate its strong pungent aroma. Some even say it smells like soap. However, like I said the opinion is divided so the people who love it, love it anyway. 

You can use it as a garnish for a fresh and lemony aroma or you can cook it with the ingredients, it depends on you. Either way, the dish will have a slightly different aroma. 

In the case of coriander powder, it’s a widely used spice in different types of cuisines all over the world. Its mild and warm flavors and aroma make it a perfect choice of spice for any kind of recipe.

What are the possible substitutes for cloves?

Due to its unique aroma and taste, it’s not easy to find the perfect substitute for cloves. However, you can use some of these spices in place of cloves to replicate some of its nutty and warm flavors:


Nutmeg has a nutty and sweet flavor which is very similar to cloves but it can be a bit stronger in comparison to cloves. You can use it alone in small quantities to replace it with cloves or you may combine it with cinnamon to balance out the strong flavors of nutmeg.


Allspice has similar sweet and peppery flavors to cloves, so it makes a great substitute. You may use allspice in ground or whole form, but the ground form of allspice is closer to cloves and can be used as a replacement in many recipes. For information on recipes that use allspice, please click the link here.


Cardamom’s citrus and herbal tone works well in both sweet and savory dishes just like cloves. You can use whole pods of cardamom or ground form, both are easily available in the market. 

If you’re using the ground form, combining it with cinnamon or nutmeg is a good idea to get closer to the flavors that cloves would give you.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Is coriander the same as cloves?” We have also discussed if they go well together as well as the possible substitutes for cloves.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.