Ground cumin is made by finely grinding the dried seeds of a herbaceous umbellifer Cuminum cyminum. Ground cumin has a warm, earthy taste with bitter notes. While the plant is indigenous to Egypt, cumin the spice has a globetrotting following, used in cuisines including Indian, Latin American and Middle Eastern.
In Indian cookery, cumin is a core spice, used in curry powders and spice mixtures including garam masala and Bengal’s panchpuran. When cooking with ground cumin, mix it with a little cold water to form a spice paste, as this can then be fried briefly to bring out its aroma without burning.
Ground cumin and ground coriander are often used together and have an affinity. Use ground cumin to flavour dishes such as Mexican chilli con carne, Indian curries and dals, vegetable dishes, soups and kebabs. With its distinctive flavour this is an essential spice for anyone interested in cooking with spices.
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