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Caraway seed substitute?

ErikaK May 1, 2008 01:37 PM

I'm going to make the shrimp in harissa tomorrow night from the COTM (the whole menu actually) but I am missing caraway seed to make the harissa. I don't recall ever seeing this in any of the stores I shop at (even WF), although I am going to try a local multi-ethnic store that leans heavily on the middle-eastern end for that. If I can't find it, is there a substitute?

  1. weinstein5 May 1, 2008 02:51 PM

    do not know of a substitue but you should be able to find caeaway seeds in the spice section of any grocery store - I know here in chicago it is readily available -

    1. carswell May 1, 2008 03:35 PM

      Would be surprising if a local supermarket doesn't stock it. If you must sub, try dill seed with a little cumin mixed in.

      1. NYchowcook May 1, 2008 03:51 PM

        I'd probably sub fennel seeds, but if you can't locate caraway, don't know that you'd find a good (fresh) source for whole fennel seeds. Or just omit; caraway is not that strong a flavor that you'd miss in harissa.
        Do you have a natural food store or co-op nearby? That's what I would try.
        Or . . . it's time for a Penzey's order!

        2 Replies
        1. re: NYchowcook
          renz May 3, 2008 11:10 AM

          I agree with you, I think fennel is the closest.

          1. re: renz
            MMRuth May 3, 2008 11:20 AM

            The recipe does also call for ground fennel. I think I'd be inclined to just up the cumin and the fennel a bit to make up for the caraway.

            http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_can_you_substitute_for_caraway_seeds_when_cooking - suggests cumin.

            http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceUniv.html - if you search here for caraway, there are lots of substitution suggestions.

        2. b
          bw2082 May 1, 2008 04:40 PM

          caraway tastes a lot like dill to me, so give it a try

          3 Replies
          1. re: bw2082
            scunge May 1, 2008 04:51 PM

            Recently my wife and I finished a loaf of rye (local bakery baked) and I have to say that there was enough caraway at the bottom of the bag for a decent small supply.Of course mixed with rye crumbs. It'll be added to some pork and kraut I could of easily separated the seed from the crumbs if I weren't so lazy

            1. re: scunge
              Gio May 1, 2008 05:03 PM

              I'm so glad I read your post cuz I think that's brilliant. I was going to make the exact same dish without any caraway seed! Many thanks.

              1. re: Gio
                Cheese Boy May 1, 2008 09:02 PM

                Scunge had a great bit of advice which was to look at the bottom of a rye bread bag for caraway seeds, only problem is, if your bread is unseeded then you're somewhat out of luck. At that point it's probably easiest to walk into a bread bakery and request a tablespoon or two of *their* caraway seeds. I'm sure they would oblige. Bakeries are likely to have pounds of them (caraway, sesame, poppy, etc) and they'll be able to part with a few.

          2. e
            ErikaK May 2, 2008 04:23 PM

            Thanks all for your advice. No, local grocery didn't have (their spice sections leave much to be desired), middle eastern type grocery didn't have. No time for Penzey's today maybe next time. I think I will leave it out.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ErikaK
              the5thbeatle May 2, 2008 04:28 PM

              I can't think of anything that tastes like Caraway that could be used as a substitute. Why don't you just use Sesame Seeds, they go well with Shrimp.

              1. re: ErikaK
                jlafler May 3, 2008 11:06 AM

                I think you're right -- leave it out. And maybe increase the cumin a little.

              2. k
                Kelli2006 May 3, 2008 09:11 AM

                I would substitute it w/ dill or celery seed, as they are similar.

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