Cuminum cyminum L.
Carrot Family: Umbelliferae (Apiaceae)
Cumin seeds are the dried seed-like fruits of the species Cuminum cyminum. It’s an annual herbaceous plant 8-12 inches (20-30cm) tall. The main producers of cumin are China and India but it’s also grown in Japan and Indonesia. India is the largest consumer of cumin in the world (WIKI)
Cumin seeds have a unique and distinctive flavour and aroma due to the presence of the volatile compound cuminaldhyde. It’s flavour is earthy and warming.
Cumin ‘seeds’ are used in whole or ground form as a flavouring ingredient in meat and vegetable dishes or as an ingredient in many snacks, condiments and spice mixtures.
Culinary Use of Cumin
Cumin is a major and popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. It’s used to flavour meat and vegetable dishes, snacks as well as some baked goods or pastries.
It’s used in soups, stews, curries, Dal, Rice (Jeera rice), Pulao, snacks, salads, just to mention a few. it’s also used as an ingredient in Pastries, Pickles Cakes, Breads, Chilli con carne.
It’s also used as an ingredient in spice mixtures: garam masala, curry powder, dhana jeera, US-chili powder, Baharat, Chat Masala.
It’s also used to flavour cheeses for example the Dutch Leyden Cheese and Dutch Cumin Gouda.
Cumin oil extracted from cumin seeds. Its major volatile components are cuminaldehyde, cayman and terpenoids (WIKI)