Ground Cumin


Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to East India.


Other names: Cuminum Cyminum
Translations: Zemes ķimenes, Žemės kmynas, Teren chimion, Ground kumin, Ground cumin, Ziemi Cumin, Gemalen komijn, जमीन जीरा, Молотого кумина, Ground κυμίνου, الأرض الكمون, 그라운드 향식료 어딨지, Pozemní Kmín, Ground kumin, 地面孜然, De comí mòlt, Ground Kumina, Pozemné Rasca, Ground Cumino, קומת כמון, Ground Kummin, Земаљска кумин, グラウンドクミン, Cumin moulu, Kreuzkümmel, gemahlen, Ground Spidskommen, Ground Spisskummen, De comino molido, Меленого куміна, Jauhettua kuminaa, Приземен кимион

Physical Description

Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30–50 cm (0.98–1.6 ft) tall and is harvested by hand.

It is an herbaceous annual plant, with a slender branched stem 20–30 cm tall. The leaves are 5–10 cm long, pinnate or bipinnate, thread-like leaflets. The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels. The fruit is a lateral fusiform or ovoid achene 4–5 mm long, containing a single seed. Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in color, like other members of the Umbelliferae family such as caraway, parsley and dill.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: aromatic spice with a distinctive bitter flavor and strong, warm aroma due to its abundant oil content.
Food complements: Beans, Chicken, Couscous, Curry, Eggplant, Fish, Lamb, Lentils, Peas, Pork, Potatoes, Rice, Sausages, Soups, Stews, Eggs
Substitutes: Caraway seeds (use half as much); or caraway seeds plus anise seeds; or chili powder; or amber cumin seeds may be substituted for white cumin seeds and vice versa.

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: The World's Healthiest Foods recommends that it is better to purchase cumin in whole seed form than powder as it holds its flavor longer and the seeds can easily be ground with a mortar and pestle. Cumin seeds should be lightly roasted before use to bring out the flavor and aroma.
Buying: There are so many online stores where you can purchase Ground Cumin.
Procuring: Cultivation of cumin requires a long, hot summer of 3–4 months, with daytime temperatures around 30 °C (86 °F); it is drought-tolerant, and is mostly grown in mediterranean climates. It is grown from seed, sown in spring, and needs fertile, well-drained soil.

Conserving and Storing

Store in an airtight container and place in a dry, cool area, away from light. Flavor and aroma can be retained for up to six months.


Superstition during the Middle Ages cited that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin seed throughout the wedding ceremony.

In South Asia, cumin tea (dry seeds boiled in hot water) is used to distinguish false labour (due to gas) from real labour.

In Sri Lanka, toasting cumin seeds and then boiling them in water makes a tea used to soothe acute stomach problems.

It is commonly believed in parts of South Asia that cumin seeds help with digestion. No scientific evidence seems to suggest this is the case.

History: Wikipedia

Cumin has been in use since ancient times. Seeds, excavated at the Syrian site Tell ed-Der, have been dated to the second millennium BC. They have also been reported from several New Kingdom levels of ancient Egyptian archaeological sites.
Originally cultivated in Iran and Mediterranean region, cumin is mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and the New Testament (Matthew 23:23). It was also known in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container (much as pepper is frequently kept today), and this practice continues in Morocco. Cumin fell out of favour in Europe except in Spain and Malta during the Middle Ages. It was introduced to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists.

Since returned to favour in parts of Europe, today it is mostly grown in Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, India, Syria, Mexico, and Chile. The plant occurs as a rare casual in the British Isles, mainly in Southern England, but the frequency of its occurrence has declined greatly; according to the Botanical Society of the British Isles' most recent Atlas, there has been only one confirmed record since the year 2000.



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