Caraway seed is an essential item for making rye bread, sausages, and sauerkraut and is widely used in European cooking. What are caraway seeds ? These seeds are actually the fruits of a herb that belongs to the parsley family and the seeds of the caraway are about ¼ inch long with tapered ends and four longitudinal ridges on the surface. The seed has a slightly bitter nutty aroma with a strong, sharp licorice like taste. It is cultivated for consumption in Asia, Africa, and Europe and also has many medicinal properties. It is particularly used for stomach pain. The strong flavor of the caraway seeds comes from the essential oil that is present in it. Caraway seeds pair very well with cabbage so are used for making cabbage stir fries, sauerkraut, and cabbage soups. But what if you are out of caraway seeds and your recipe calls for it. Then you will need substitute to this seed. Here we will discuss some substitutes of caraway seeds that you can use.
Substitutes for Caraway Seeds
Before deciding which caraway seed substitute to use, you have to know what recipe you are going to use it in. Different recipes will call for different substitutes of caraway seeds.
If you are going to use caraway seeds for flavoring breads, biscuits, or cakes then you need a replacement of caraway seeds that will give a strong licorice like taste which does not get bitter when in contact with heat. The best substitute for caraway seeds, to use in rye bread are dill seeds and anise seeds. Dill seeds and anise seeds have the same licorice like taste and they won't overpower the cake or bread with a pungent flavor or aroma.
If, on the other hand, you require caraway seeds for imparting flavor to homemade jams, pickles, and marmalade, then the best substitute for caraway seeds will be to use whole star anise, anise seeds, or cloves. These whole spices will give a very good flavor to your jams and pickles with a wonderful aroma.
When you require caraway seeds to put in your favorite curry or stew, then you need a substitute that has a strong flavor. This will enhance the taste of your dish and make it more delicious. The best substitute for these seeds is to use here will be nigella seeds also known as black onion seeds or ground fennel seeds mixed with dried oregano.
If your curry is quite spicy and you want it to have deep robust flavors, then dry roast some cumin seeds in a skillet and grind them to a fine powder. Use a bit of this fresh roasted cumin powder in your dish and see how your dish is transformed into something delicious and flavorful.
Another very important use of caraway seeds is that it is used for flavoring cheeses. It gives the cheese a warm sweet flavor. If you want to make caraway seed cheese spread, and you do not have these seeds, then the best substitute will be to use a tablespoon of fennel seeds or anise seeds to make crumbled blue cheese with cream.
So these were some substitutes for caraway seeds. Caraway seeds not only has culinary uses, but it is also known for its medicinal properties. The health benefits of these seeds includes providing relief from flatulence, treating indigestion, and lowering blood pressure. Caraway seeds have a strong pungent flavor and should therefore be used in moderation.