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Is Cumin Used in Indian Food?

Apr 21, 2022

Cumin is one of the most common spices you'll find in many of your favorite Indian dishes. Cumin lends its distinctive flavor to chili, tamales and most of your favorite Indian curries. Its flavor has been described as earthy, nutty, spicy and warm. So what exactly is cumin? Where did this spice come from? What are the benefits of cooking with cumin?

What is Cumin?

Cumin is one of those spices you're hearing more about and it's showing up in more of your favorite recipes. But what exactly is cumin and where does it come from? Cumin is a spice made from the dried seed of a plant known as Cuminum cyminum, which is a member of the parsley family. Cumin has been used extensively in India as well as by the Greeks and Romans going back more than two thousand years.

Recipes will call for ground or whole cumin seeds. Ground cumin is made by grinding dry-roasted cumin seeds. Cumin adds a smoky flavor to recipes. You can lightly roast whole cumin seeds at home, grind the seeds in a spice grinder or crush them with a mortar and pestle to release the fresh intense flavor of ground cumin to use in your favorite recipes calling for cumin.

Where did Cumin Originate?

Cumin originated in Western Asia. The cumin plant grows about 1 to 2 feet tall and is actually drought tolerant, making it well-suited to West Asia. where it has been cultivated since biblical times. In modern days, India and Iran are the main producers of cumin worldwide. Not just a kitchen staple, cumin was also used by ancient Egyptians in the mummification process.

Some of your favorite Indian meals made with Cumin

Some of the most common Indian dishes including cumin are Cumin Chicken, Cumin Chili, and Hunan Beef with Cumin, to name just a few of our favorite Indian dishes. SugarRoti makes it easy to make any of these recipes using one of our 15 SugarRoti spice blends - pre-measured and ready for you to use on any of your favorite traditional Indian recipe, usually in an under an hour, or any dish you can image. Find more than one-hundred SugarRoti recipes here to inspire your cooking creativity using any of SugarRoti's 15 Indian spice blends, including cumin, garam masala, turmeric, ginger, garlic and so many more traditional Indian spices.

When should I use Cumin?

Cumin is a common spice used in most Indian recipes. Professional chefs will use cumin to accentuate the subtle sweetness of root vegetables like carrots and beets. It's also a must-have for enhancing the savory flavor of rich meats like beef and lamb.

Cumin can be used in any rub mixture and of course in most or your favorite Indian curries, as well as rice and potatoes. Use cumin with cabbage, parsnips, eggplants, onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, pomegranates, dates, beans, lentils, beef, chicken, and even venison.

Benefits of Cumin

Cumin is rich in iron and manganese which can help maintain good bone density and muscle tone, improving your body's calcium absorption. Cumin added to warm water can also help relieve digestion, flatulence, and nausea. Cumin can also be used to help manage diabetes and improve cholesterol. Cumin seeds contain naturally occurring substances that work as antioxidants. That means that these substances (called apigenin and luteolin) help your body fight the free radicals that attack healthy cells.

You can get your daily dose of cumin by using SugarRoti Indian spice blends - all pre-measured, perfectly blended and ready for your ingredients.

"One should eat cumin every day!" -- Joel Robuchon