Recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cilantro leaves. I only have a 0.43 oz (12g) bottle of ground cilantro. How much of the ground cilantro should I use?

  • Do you mean dried cilantro rather than ground? – Cindy Feb 3 '19 at 17:03
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    @Cindy - yes, I'm confused too - I added my answer using my "UK brain" which simply translated both to "coriander" without thinking. We definitely need clarification. I don't think I've ever seen dried cilantro/leaves. – Tetsujin Feb 3 '19 at 17:07
  • The dried leaves are generally broken up pretty small - we don't normally say "ground" for this in (British) English but it's not unreasonable – Chris H Feb 3 '19 at 17:10
  • @Tetsujin I'm in the US and dried cilantro leaves are quite common in spice sections. And while I do keep a bottle on hand, it doesn't even come close to fresh. – Cindy Feb 3 '19 at 17:15
  • @Cindy - I can't recall ever seeing dried leaves in the UK [though I haven't looked hard]. I do have some 'freeze-dried flat-leaf parsley' which is equally disappointing.... & basil, of course, which for some reason everybody buys, keeps til it passes the best-before date, then discards... I have a shop 50m from my door I can get fresh of any of the above... yet i still have dried in the cupboard... who knows why. ;-)) – Tetsujin Feb 3 '19 at 17:48

The two are not interchangeable.

One is fresh leaves; the other is ground seeds.
They don't taste anything like one another.

At a push you could use fresh flat-leaf parsley. It would add some 'freshness' to the flavour, but wouldn't be a proper substitute, even then.

A late thought - is your ground herb actually labelled 'cilantro', or are you translating from the US term for 'coriander leaves'.
In US terminology, 'cilantro' equates to coriander leaves [fresh] & 'coriander' is specifically the seeds.
In UK terminology both are called 'coriander' & the specific type, leaves or seeds will be mentioned separately on the packaging, if there is any potential for confusion.

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    Really nice catch with the late thought translation possibility there! I would never have thought of that. – Willk Feb 3 '19 at 17:21

@Tetsujin's answer above is spot on for a general substitution of fresh to dried, but they've missed an important piece of your specific question: quantity.

If you have 12 grams of dried, that's very roughly two tablespoons. Even taking into account the differences in concentration between fresh and dried herbs, that's nowhere near enough.

Another thought related to quantity is what purpose the herb serves in the recipe. 1 1/2 cups is quite a lot of herb. It would add a lot of bulk to the recipe, which you'll loose by substituting dried, and in some applications the substitution may simply be impossible if the consistency of the fresh herb is required. For instance, pesto with dried basil simply wouldn't work. If your recipe is for something along those lines, as I suspect given the quantity asked for, you may not be able to substitute at all.

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