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May 1, 2008 01:37 PM

Caraway seed substitute?

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?

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  1. 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. 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. 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

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

          1. re: renz

            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.

   - suggests cumin.

   - if you search here for caraway, there are lots of substitution suggestions.

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: bw2082

            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

              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

                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. 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

              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

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