Palm sugar is used in a variety of Indian, Thai, and African dishes. It has a deeper and richer flavor than refined white sugar, which allows it to give dishes a distinctive taste. Unfortunately, palm sugar can be difficult to find unless you live near an Indian market. It can also be expensive. For a palm sugar substitute that can provide the right flavor notes, consider any of the options below.
You can find sesame seeds in everything from Japanese dishes to American bagels and hamburger buns. It is sprinkled over salads to enhance their crunch and used to make Middle Eastern tahini paste. The versatile sesame seed is useful because of its texture and its nutty flavor. If your recipe requires it and you don’t have any on hand, try a sesame seeds substitute from the list below.
The extract in vanilla extract’s name is there because the flavor is extracted from the vanilla bean using alcohol. Vanilla extract is an essential for desserts and should be one of the staples in your spice cabinet if you bake regularly. If you run out unexpectedly or can’t find the pure version (as opposed to the imitation version) there are quite a few vanilla extract substitutes for you to use.
Cream of tartar is a product of wine fermentation that has many applications in baking. It is useful both for leavening and as a source of acidity. Cream of tartar is also easy to find and relatively affordable, so you should try to keep it on hand if you bake meringue pies and make simple syrups regularly. Cream of tartar has an indefinite shelf life as long as you store it away from heat. If you find yourself out of it unexpectedly, try some of these cream of tartar substitutes.
You can use onion salt to add a mild onion flavor along with salt. It is perfect for breads, dry rubs and salad dressings where you may want onion and salt without the bulk of fresh onion. It is versatile enough that you should keep some in your spice cabinet, but there are several onion salt alternatives if you run out.
Onion powder is a great alternative to fresh onions. It has a much longer shelf life and offers a similar flavor with very little bulk. Because the onion flavor is important to so many recipes, you should definitely try to keep some onion powder on hand. If you find yourself out of it and need some right away, there are quite a few options when it comes to onion powder substitutes.
Tamarind paste is the processed pulp of the tamarind fruit. It is a souring agent popular in Indian cuisine for its ability to provide a tangy acidity to dishes along with mildly sweet notes. You can buy pre-made tamarind paste or a block of tamarind pulp that you can reconstitute to make your own paste. If neither option is available to you, consider one of the many tamarind paste substitutes.
Mango powder is also called amchur (or amchoor) and is used to provide tartness in Indian dishes. Along with its sour notes, it adds a fruity aroma and mild sweetness. Your best options for finding mango powder are to seek out an Indian grocery or to order it online. If you need it right away, consider trying one of the mango powder substitutes below.