Spicy Saturdays: Cumin

July 30, 2011

Cumin, a seed from the parlsey family, is the second most popular spice in the world -- after black pepper. With archeological evidence of its use dating back to the 2nd Millenium BCE (we're talking the time when the alphabet was being developed, chariots were first built, peaches were discovered...), it is hardly surprising that cumin is popular in several dozen countries and culture from the Mediterranean to Eastern China, as well as Mexico and Northern Africa. With an earthy flavor and powerful aroma, cumin adds warmth - not heat - to dishes. Cumin is an essential ingredient in dozens of spice blends: garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, adobo and achiote. 

Commonly confused with caraway seeds (another member of the Parsley family, along with dill) due to their nearly identical physical appearance, caraway seeds are sweeter and common in European cooking (especially Northern) where cumin fell out of European favor centuries ago. 

Here are a few fantastic recipes to get you started!

Cumin Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower & cumin were simply made for each other! This is the only cauliflower recipe in our house. Gluten free / dairy free / vegan.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Nearly Famous and all, this is one super soup. Gluten free.

Lemon Cumin Chicken Meatballs
A weekly staple! Tangy, earthy and delicious, enjoy with mashed potatoes, as an appetizer or tomorrow for a quick lunch! Gluten free / dairy free.

Orange Cumin Pork Tenderloin
Earthy, sweet and spicy, perfect for summer. Gluten free / dairy free.

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swellkid's picture

Thanks for linking to swellkid- glad you liked the cauliflower recipe- it's a pleaser!