Cummin (Cuminum cyminum) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae. Native from the East Meditterranean to India it owns seeds used in recepies of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. The name comes from ancient semitic languages even if the first form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek ku-mi-no.
Cumin is the dried seed of the 30-50 cm herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. Harvested by hand, it is an annual herbaceous plant used since ancient times as confirmed by seeds excavated from Syrian and Egyptian sites and dated second millennium BC.
Originally cultivated in Iran and Mediterranean coasts, cumin is mentioned in the Bible. The ancient Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container (much as pepper is frequently kept today), and this practice continues in Morocco. Heavily used in ancient Roman cuisine it was introduced to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Between different types of cumin the most famous are black and green kind which are both used in Iranian cuisine.
Well known to be typical ingredient of India’s kormas and masala today it is mostly grown in India, Iran Uzbekistan, Turkey, Morocco,Syria, Egypt, Chile, Mexico and China.
Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive flavour and aroma. It is globally popular and an essential flavouring in many cuisines, particularly South Asian, Northern African and Latin American cuisines. Cumin can be found in some Dutch cheeses (as Leyden cheese), and in some traditional France breads.It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine, in chili powder. We commonly can find cummin in achiote blends, garam masal,curry powder and baharat.
Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to food, making it a staple in certain stews and soups. This is due to its essential oil content made of cuminic alcohol and cuminaldehyde.
According to the USDA, one tablespoon of cumin spice contains, apart a large percentage of iron.