From the market to your plate
From the market to your plate

All about Cumin > From the market to your plate

How to buy

Whole seeds or ground - the whole seeds have more flavour.

How to store

Cumin seeds and cumin powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, and dry place. Ground cumin will keep for about six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about a year.

How to prepare

The whole seeds are often heated for a few seconds in order to release their full flavour before grinding.

How to cook with cumin

In many countries, a pinch of powdered cumin is added to the cooking water of dried beans in order to make them more digestible.

The Worldwide gourmet

Hotter and spicier than caraway, cumin is found in both seed and powdered forms. It plays an important role in spicy cuisines, entering into Indian curries and Moroccan ras-el-hanout. Powdered, it is used in the tagines of Maghreb, in the bouillon for couscous, and the falafels and fool of the Middle East and Northern Africa.

In central America, it flavours gazpacho and empanadas. It is a constituent of chili powder and so is widely eaten in North America in Mexican-style dishes.

Cumin in Indian cooking

Cumin is mostly popular in North India, where its use is as rife as mustard seeds use in the South. Thus, many meals are prepared from cumin in the North, as curry for instance explains Marisha from SITA Cultural Center.

You can find cumin in homemade rasam : just chop it with ginger, pepper and garlic and water it down. But cumin is appreciated with non-veg meals as mutton or chicken gravies, by mixing it with onions and ginger-garlic paste. It can also be grinded raw, and then sprinkled with red chilly powder on veg meals or different soups. Finally, it is used for jeera rice (cumin rice from the North)

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