Background and Native Countries
Cumin is a dried seed of the Cuminum plant and belongs to the Umbelliferon family. This tiny dry fruit is native to the Egypt and Mediterranean region through India and the Middle East. Moreover, it is an ancient spice and was found 4000 years back in ancient Egypt and Syria. Initially, cumin seeds were used to preserve mummies and as a spice.
Taste and Aroma
Cumin seeds taste earthy with a mixed aroma of sweet and bitter. The whole seeds of cumin can bee toasted to get the most refined flavor. People use them to enhance the flavors of the broth and other recipes. They are also suitable for digestion. People in India and Pakistan usually chew them after having their meals. It has a major role in Indian, Pakistani, Latin, Central American, and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Cumin seeds can take over the flavor of any dish if not used prudently. So it is better to use the minimum amount, and then you can add more later if required.
Zera, Jeera, or cumin seeds are widely used in various cuisines and are an essential part of Indian and Pakistani curry and chutneys. They are also used in pickles, stews, soups, loaves of bread, BBQ sauces, and rice dishes. It also aids in weight loss and is excellent for digestion, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, and if cast-off as a spice, increases intake of antioxidants.
In cooking, cumin seeds are beneficial if:
ü They are rub on meat, lamb, or pork for margination
ü Cumin also partners well with chili powder
ü It is used in BBQ Sauce, chutneys, pickles, and other marinades
ü It is used alongside onions as "chaunk" in Indian and Pakistani recipes of lentils
ü Enhances the flavor of roast or fried potatoes
ü It is added in citrus-flavored poultry marinades and meat
ü It can be mixed in olive oil and pour over salads and stir-fried vegetables
Cumin seeds are a magical ingredient with multiple health benefits. It also aids in weight loss and is excellent for digestion, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol. It is also known as a body healer, relieves abdominal pain, prevents muscle cramps, soothes cough and pneumonia condition, helps combat morning sickness and nausea in pregnant women.
Cumin seeds are also antibacterial and antiseptic, thus help fighting many health issues. Intake of cumin water is beneficial for milk production in lactating mothers.
Medical and Herbal Uses
Cumin seeds do wonders and have several medical and herbal uses. They have properties to fight cancer cells from multiplying. Moreover, they aid in better limb performance and endows in the central nervous system of the body.
Cumin seeds are energy boosters and can become your go-to ingredient for detoxification. It also promotes urine production hence flushes away toxins from our body. In addition, they are a natural laxative and are the herbal way of healing piles.
Besides being an excellent antioxidant, cumin also has anti-aging superpower resulting in better skin. Pairing it up with other medications can slow blood clotting and promotes kidney health.
Whether ground or whole, cumin seeds should be stored in dry airtight containers and away from direct sunlight. Whole seeds can be re-dried if they get moisture anyway at a content of 10%.