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
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.
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.