From savory Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine to spicy Latin dishes, cumin knows no geographic borders. Originally cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean region, the Greeks kept cumin at the dining table as their “pepper” and this practice continues in Morocco. Today, cumin is grown in India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Mexico, and Chile; India being the largest producer.
This small, plain seed delivers a bold flavor that perfectly complements a variety of dishes. From curries and sauces to cheese -- cumin is an international staple enjoyed across the world.
The first notes of cumin are sharp, zesty, and bitter with a slight menthol aftertaste. Often described as a warming spice, whole Cumin when bitten open releases a mild menthol quality similar to caraway. Caraway and cumin are often mistaken for one another due to their similar taste.
Cumin is an essential spice for Indian dishes and chutneys and a little goes a long way. The spice also works well in a variety of rice dishes, stews, soups, breads, pickles, barbecue sauces, and chili con carne recipes.
Cumin is favored by vegetarian and vegan cooks as it adds a savory, meaty quality to dishes and enhances the texture of many meat substitutes.
A member of the carrot family, it’s only natural for cumin to play along well with parsnip, eggplant, onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, pomegranate, beans, lentils, as well as lamb, beef, chicken, lamb and venison. It is an excellent complement to many other flavors including garlic, coriander and even ginger.
This long-celebrated spice boosts both flavor and your cooking creativity.
So, let’s get cooking!
Try these popular recipes featuring cumin: