What is cumin?

Cumin seeds, or the ground powder of cumin seed, come from the Cuminum cyminum plant. 

Cumin is used in many cuisines around the world. Cumin originated in Southern Asia and has spread throughout the Middle East, Central America and Northern Africa, being incorporated into a wide range of dishes in countries like India, Pakistan, Mexico and Turkey. But how do you cook with cumin? How can you use it to change up your cooking routine?

What is the flavour of cumin?

Cumin is a spice that has a distinctive, earthy flavour. It tastes very similar to caraway, but with a more earthy and slightly smoky flavour. It pairs well with other spices like black pepper, oregano, and coriander. 

Ground cumin vs whole cumin

Ground cumin is made by grinding the seeds. It has a bright, citrusy flavour that blends more easily into dishes. 

Whole cumin seeds are larger and darker in colour than their ground counterparts and have a more pungent, earthy aroma. These seeds can be added directly to soups or other dishes during cooking for an extra burst of flavour.

How to cook with cumin

The next time you are in the kitchen, spice up your dishes with cumin! Cumin is a very common flavour ingredient in Indian, Mexican, and other cuisines. 

Five recipes that celebrate cumin: