11 Best Substitutes For Sumac


Produced using the dried and ground berries of the wild sumac flower, Sumac is a tart zest with a sour, acidic flavor suggestive of lemon juice.

This fragrant flavor is utilized to light up dry rubs, zest mixes like za’atar, and dressings.

This wine-hued ground zest is perhaps the most valuable yet least known and most overlooked.

11 Best Substitutes For Sumac

The best substitute for Sumac are – Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Vinegar, Smoked Paprika, Ground Coriander, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Za’atar,Tamarind Paste,Lemon Seasoning, and Amchoor. They are discussed in detail here –

Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is the yellow outer part of its strip. It is often used with or without lemon juice to add a tangy flavor to recipes.

Lemon zest is effectively the best Sumac substitute since it is effectively accessible in the nearby store. It likewise has the most similar taste profile.

To utilize it in the recipe, you need to grind the lemon zest (an external piece of lemon) and blend it as indicated by the measure of food inside to have a decent flavor.

While the fragrance is not as intense and complex, lemon zest is the closest common ingredient to Sumac.

How to Substitute

For proper measurements, one medium-sized lemon equals two little stalks of Sumac. Contingent upon the measure of food, you can compare the necessary Sumac with the perfect measure of lemon zest.

Want to know how you can use lemon zest in different recipes? Watch “LookinAtCookin” telling us about lemon zest recipe that can be easily made:-


Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is essentially the juice of lemons blended in with water.

Lemon juice is exceptionally acidic with a low pH, so the fruity tones and taste will help you save your dinner.

Utilize it to demonstrate a comparative flavor and taste to Sumac.

Lemons are used in sweets, drinks, and as an enhancement for meat and fish dishes.

Using Lemon juice as a substitute would increase the product’s shelf life along with increasing your immunity.

Because lemon juice has potent ingredients, be careful of allergies and avoid having it in migraines. One should be cautious as it is acidic.

How to Substitute

Use 1 tbsp lemon juice to substitute 1 tbsp of Sumac. Too much of the lemon juice can overpower the whole meal because it is high in acid.

Want to know how to make Lemon juice at home to be used in a recipe? Check out here:-



Regular vinegar is a vinegar produced by the aging of ingredient in East Asia, just like Vietnam in Southeast Asia. It is excellent in mixed fries, soups, and cooked dishes.

Without the little sweetness and fruity flavor, regular vinegar will help you draw out the acidy taste.

Likewise, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice to make it more fabulous fruity.

Vinegar is a kind of acidic solution produced using matured cereal.

It does not have a similar medical advantage as apple juice, yet it is a decent method to bring out flavors in a plate of mixed greens dressings.

How to Substitute

Use 1 tbsp Regular vinegar to substitute 1 tbsp of sumac. For another quick substitute, use the regular vinegar which you are likely to have on hand (to make one tablespoon); combine two 3/4 teaspoons of regular vinegar with 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice.

Confused about how to make rice vinegar? Look no further and check this video by “cuoredicioccolato,” talking about how to make rice vinegar easily at home:-


Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika, usually known as smoked Spanish paprika or pimenton, is prepared from peppers smoked and dried over wooden fires.

It is produced from a mix of dried peppers. You can discover this smoked variety in mild, hot, and medium-hot.

It tends to be sprinkled as a topping over spiced eggs or potato plates of mixed greens or utilized to enhance meat rubs. It has a smoked pepper flavor with no warmth.

Smoked Paprika has a vast flavor potential that has been exemplified in a few European and Mexican dishes. It’ll not frustrate you as the substitute for sumac.

How to Substitute

If you have smoked paprika powder, substitute one teaspoon of sumac with more than one teaspoon of smoked paprika powder.  If you have the fresh paprika powder, utilize the 1:1 proportion. They are quite strong; too much of their contents might hurt your tastebuds.

Confused about how to use smoked Paprika powder in a recipe? Check out this video by “Your Food Lab” showing how to make healthy Vegetables in Paprika sauce with Spinach Rice:-


Ground Coriander

Coriander is a herb that is usually used to enhance international dishes. It comes from the Coriandrum sativum plant and is identified with parsley, carrots, and celery.

In the US, Coriandrum sativum seeds are called coriander, while its leaves are called cilantro. Fresh Coriander is a fragrant, antioxidant-rich herb.

Another choice to avoid the Sumac in your completed dish is to serve with a fresh herb like coriander.

Again the flavor will be diverse, yet the extra aromatics from the spices will mean you’re not missing the sumac.

Coriander stalks have more flavor and ought to be utilized rather than the leaves.

How to Substitute

Smash and mince two teaspoons of coriander stalks or two teaspoons of fresh coriander root to substitute one stalk of sumac.

Confused about how to use coriander in a recipe? Check out this video by “Simple Indian Food” showing how to make a healthy dry coffee using coriander and ginger:-


Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is a spice with a mint flavor that makes one perfect amongst other Sumac substitutes, like lemon zest. The leaves have a gentle lemon fragrance.

During summer, little white blossoms loaded with nectar show up.

Aside from being a Sumac substitute, it has extraordinary advantages to the body, like helping dispose of stomach-related issues, cerebral pains, and spasms.

Lemon medicine has a fragile citrus scent and flavor, so it ought to be added towards the finish of the cooking process.

Lemon balm ought to be perfectly cleaved and afterward added to a dish. It’s best used in desserts.

How to Substitute

You can cleave the leaves or cut them in half and boost the fragrance, just as the citrus flavor components. Three lemon Balm leaves can substitute one stalk of Sumac.

Want to know where lemon balm can be used in a recipe? Watch “Happy Holistics” step by step, showing us how to make a citrusy lemon balm at home, here:-


Lemon Verbena

The Lemon Verbena is a sweet-smelling spice like sumac used to substitute sumac to give a citrus flavor and a herby flavor.

Since lemon verbena has a serious exceptional flavor and scent, utilize just a limited quantity as a substitute in your dishes.

For utilizing lemon verbena, tear or chop the leaves and add them to your dish. This substitute can be utilized in curries, sauces, and flavorful cakes.

The leaves and palatable blossoms turn up in martinis, frozen yogurt, syrups, sun teas, pesto, salad dressing. The leaves can be soaks, steamed, ground, or injected in oils, vinegar, and salt waters.

How to Substitute

To use in the dishes, add the leaves likewise while observing the taste until it reaches your preferred levels. In many cases, one to two lemon verbena leaves is sufficient to replace one stalk of sumac. You can slash the leaves or supplement them as a whole and eliminate the leaves prior to eating the food.

Want to know how you can use Lemon verbena in different recipes? Watch “Homestead Tessie Country Living” telling us about lemon verbena benefits as well as various uses in recipes that can be easily made:-



As we referenced above, sumac is one of the principle fixings in za’atar, so it is a valuable substitute.

This flavoring is a dry powdered zest mixed in similar applications as sumac, ideal for carrying extraordinary flavor to chickpeas, broil vegetables, chicken, and meat.

Albeit za’atar’s business brands will shift, it will regularly contain different fixings like oregano, sesame seeds, cilantro seeds, or thyme.

This implies the flavor profile of your dish will not be equivalent to utilizing sumac all alone. However, this fact must not stop you from utilizing za’atar as a substitution.

How to Substitute

For the replacement, utilize a large portion of a teaspoon of za’atar more than two pinches of sumac. Remember, they are not the same, so you might get the good taste only after adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of za’atar.

Want to know where za’atar can be used in a recipe? Watch “Aashpazi.com” step by step showing us how to make a tasty za’atar, here:-


Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Paste is produced using a sharp, dull, tacky natural product that fills in a case on a tamarind tree. It has a tart flavor.

While a few foods use tamarind paste to make pastries and even sweets, it is utilized most in delicious dishes in Thai cooking.

You will get a comparative prepared flavor, although Tamarind Paste has a more harsh severe burst. It is useful for Asian pan-fries that call for crushed tomatoes.

It has notes of smoke and caramel, too, making for a mind-boggling flavor profile. It is thick, tacky, and takes after molasses.

How to Substitute

Measure out an equal proportion of this spice blend to the amount of sumac your recipe calls for, but add it gradually. If you continue gradually adding your tamarind paste and tasting your dish as you add it, you can ensure that the flavor of this spice blend does not overpower your finished dish.

Ever used tamarind paste before? Check out how to make simple, tasty tamarind rice by “Gita’s kitchen” here:-


Lemon Pepper Seasoning

It’s a typical zest mix that you’ll effectively discover in the flavor segment of your nearby grocery store.

It’s produced using a blend of cracked black pepper and dried lemon zing. This substitute will bring a similar acidic, sour taste to the dish that you would get from sumac.

Use it in dressings or on meat for a bona fide tasting supper that any Central Eastern citizen will appreciate.

It contains significant sodium degree, so it isn’t suggested for those on a low-salt eating regimen.

For a comparable flavor without the salt, consolidate lemon zing with cracked pepper to make a handcrafted rendition.

How to Substitute

As it is the same as shop-bought sumac, you can substitute it in an equal quantity. Remember to taste the dish after adding a small amount. If required, you can add more.

Want to know how you can use lemon pepper seasoning in different recipes? Watch “Anyone can cook with me” telling us about quick starter lemon pepper chicken recipe that can be easily made:-



Amchoor, likewise called mango powder, is a fruity flavor powder produced using dried unripe green mangoes and is utilized as a citrusy preparation.

It’s, for the most part, created in India and Pakistan and is utilized to enhance food sources and add the nutritional advantages of mangoes when fresh fruit is unavailable.

Its dominant flavor is citrusy and sour, and it adds a dazzling trace of flavor to chicken and fish.

The greatest test with amchoor is that it tends to be hard to track down in standard stores.

Visit a neighborhood Indian grocery if there’s one close by, as it’ll unquestionably be stocked there.

How to Substitute

Follow the 1:1 proportion while substituting amchoor for Sumac. If you are making a huge batch, change the substance and taste before adding more to it.

Did you know you can make amchoor powder in your kitchen? Watch this video by “Food Fitness & Fun” showing how easily we can make raw mango powder (amchoor) at home:-



Are Zaatar and Sumac the same?

No, both zaatar and sumac may have similarities, but they are two different ingredients.

The principle distinction between sumac and za’atar is that sumac is any different bushes or little trees that involve poison ivy and poison oak. In contrast, za’atar is especially a spice with a comparative flavor to thyme or oregano.

Is poison ivy, oak, and sumac the same?

Poison ivy oak has a tacky, durable oil called urushiol that causes an irritated, rankling rash after it contacts with your skin. Indeed, even slight contact, such as reviewing against the leaves, can abandon the oil. Poison ivy and poison oak develop as plants or bushes. Poison sumac is a bush or tree.

What is the difference between sumac and turmeric?

The sumac taste is exceptionally unmistakable, however, and not very quite the same as turmeric. Turmeric has a harsh, somewhat impactful flavor that functions admirably with most dishes.

Sumac, then again, is more tart and lemony, which is the reason lemon zing blended in with Black pepper is frequently utilized as a sumac flavor substitute.

Bottom Line

I hope this list assisted you in discovering one suitable replacement for Sumac. Please share your experience with these. Comment below your substitute for this to be included in our inventory.

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.