A Lesson In: Cumin
Cumin is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the carrot family. It originates from the Middle East and Mediterranean region and grows in tropical climates. Right after black pepper, cumin is the most popular spice in the world with India being the largest manufacturer and consumer of cumin. It has a warm, earthy flavor and aroma with a bit of sweetness and bitterness.
You will use fresh cumin differently than ground cumin in recipes. Whole cumin seeds should be used early in the recipe so the spice has time to release its flavor. The whole seeds need to be toasted in order to reach the optimum flavor. Ground cumin, on the other hand, is more concentrated. Generally, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin is equivalent to 1 1/4 tablespoons of cumin seeds.
Cumin is used in a few different blends, including curry as well as in rubs and marinades. Adobe blends are great for all meats. Cumin is a great complement to legumes such as lentils, garbanzo beans, and black beans. It adds an earthiness to chili and slightly peppery spice to pork chops. Cumin is an integral part of taco seasoning and chipotle blends. Our Kickin’ Chicken blend features cumin and transforms your chicken.
Even better than its versatility is cumin’s health benefits. Cumin seeds are used to treat poor appetite, heart disease, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting in many parts of the world. Due to its essential oils, magnesium, and sodium content, it promotes digestion and helps with stomach aches.
Next time you are shopping for spices go for blends that feature this spice and see your dishes gain a nice kick of rich earthy flavor.