Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to about one to two feet tall and is harvested by hand. Cumin is a key component in both chili powder and curry powder.
The flavor of cumin plays a major role in Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines. Cumin is a critical ingredient of chili powder, and is found in achiote blends, adobos, garam masala, curry powder, and baharat.
Historically, Iran has been a principal supplier of cumin, but currently the major sources are India, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey.
Superstition during the Middle Ages cited that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin seed throughout the wedding ceremony.
Flavor & Aroma
Cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes.