What can I substitute for cilantro in rice?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question,”What can I substitute for cilantro in rice?”, and discuss the difference between coriander and cilantro. We will also briefly discuss some of the substitutes for cilantro.

What can I substitute for cilantro in rice?

You can substitute cumin, curry powder, carraway, basil, oregano, parsley, dill, garam masala, mint, papalo, and  rau rum for cilantro in rice.

What are the substitutes for cilantro

  1. Cumin – can be used as a substitute for cilantro. In Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes, cumin goes well with coriander. It has a spicy and a nutty flavour and is readily available in every household. 
  1. Curry powder –  A mix of spices consisting of dried herbs and spices such as coriander, ginger, turmeric and chilli. The deep flavour of curry powder can be substituted for cilantro in any type of recipe, and is most ideal to be used in soups and marinades. 
  1. Carraway – Both caraway and cilantro can be used interchangeably as they are similar in terms of flavour. Carraway is just a bit sweeter and can be used in marinades and spice rubs, and if the food is to be roasted or grilled along with it, it enhances the flavour. 
  1. Basil – a herb which is sweeter than cilantro can also be used as a substitute Thai basil, found mostly in farmers markets only, also has a spice to it which is quite suitable to add to the taste of dishes that are stir fried. 
  1. Parsley – is a close relative of cilantro. It is bitter, if the tastes are compared but it adds to the freshness of the other ingredients in the recipe. Lemon or lime juice can be added if parsley is used instead of cilantro to add the zip of citrus to the recipe.
  2. Dill – are actually very small seed like substances, thus having a completely different appearance than cilantro. Even the flavours are very different, but dills can add interesting and unique flavours to food. Small quantities are enough to impart these flavours.
  1. Mint – The nice pleasant smell and flavour of mint can be a good alternative to be used instead of cilantro in rice. A tsp of balsamic vinegar or lemon can be added to reduce the smell of mint. 
  1. Papalo – Commonly used in Mexican dishes, papalo can also be used as a replacement for cilantro. The taste of Papalo is in between cilantro and cucumber. It can also be used as a garnish. 1 tbsp of cilantro can be replaced by ⅓ tbsp of papalo.
  1. Rau rum – is also called the Vietnamese cilantro, with a taste quite similar to regular cilantro making it a perfect alternative.
  1. Garam Masala -is also a blend of spices which include peppercorn, coles, and some herbs such as cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin and coriander. Adding Garam masala to recipes will help impart new flavours. 
  1. Oregano – can be added with some amount of lime juice to impart the zesty flavour similar to cilantro.
  1. Herb Mixtures – Using a mixture of fresh herbs with taste and flavours similar to cilantro can be a good option as an alternative. Dill, parsley, oregano, and tarragon can be blended together to add interesting flavours to the recipe. 

What is the difference between coriander and cilantro?

The difference between coriander and cilantro is that coriander is the dried seeds of the Coriandrum Sativum plant, whereas cilantro is the stems and leaves of the same plant. 

Cilantro is a herb which is popular in Mexican, Asian and Indian dishes and is well known for the strong aromas. It is also called Chinese/Mexican parsley and it even looks like fat leaves of parsley having strong but tender stems.

Even the taste of coriander seeds and coriander leaves or cilantro are different. Cilantro has a distinct sitrus taste, whereas the seeds have a spicy warm flavour. Also the quality of both the seeds and leaves of the plant is best when used fresh and lose their potency when stored for long periods of times.

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In this brief article, we answered the question, “What can I substitute for cilantro in rice?”, and discussed the difference between coriander and cilantro. We also briefly discussed some of the substitutes for cilantro.