Cumin Cumin, also known as zeera, is a spice derived from the Apiaceae flowering plant family. Cumin is native to the Indian subcontinent and parts of the Mediterranean. Once the plant is ripe, the seeds are harvested and dried. The cumin seeds are available whole or a crushed powder. Cumin has been used as a flavoring agent in food for centuries. Today, cumin is readily available in most Indian food stores in America. It is relatively cheap. The dried seeds have a long shelf life but need to be stored in an airtight container. When added to food, cumin provides a musky earthy smell. Cumin has a very distinctive aroma and is very popular in many dishes around the globe. To extract the flavor of cumin, it is best heated in warm cooking oil until it starts to crack. In Indian cuisine, cumin is used in many vegetable and meat dishes, whereas in the Mediterranean, Africa, and Latin America it is also used to flavor soups, cheese, bread, and desserts. Cumin should be used sparingly to food. If large amounts are added, the taste can be bitter. It is best added to food at the start of cooking to allow for the aroma to be exposed to the heat. Cumin is rarely used alone but often combined with pepper, chilies, onions, and thyme to enhance the flavor of food. In fact, cumin is often sold as a combo mixture with chili, pepper, salt and other spices. When the right amount of cumin is used in food recipes, it provides a warm earthy taste. Many chefs use cumin to spice up stews, soups, and gravy. Indians often use large amounts of cumin in pastries and some pickles. Some of the succulent dishes that can be prepared with cumin including some Indian rice dishes like plough, potatoes, biryani and butter chicken. Indians also believe that cumin possesses medicinal values and often use the power to treat indigestion, constipation, anemia and the common cold. Cumin is also added to many types of beverages for the treatment of numerous medical disorders but whether it actually works is anyone’s guess.

Health Benefits of Cumin:

    Nutrition Facts %DV
    Cumin, also known as zeera, is a spice derived from the Apiaceae flowering plant family. Cumin is native to the

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