Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Cumin

Buy Now
Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Buy Now
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note
Buy Now

What is it?

Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. Cumin seeds which resemble caraway seeds, are oblong, ridged, and yellow-brown in color. Cumin seeds, known for their distinctive aroma, are popular in North African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Cuban and Northern Mexican cuisine.

Sold whole or ground, cumin seeds come in three colors: amber, white and black. Amber is most widely available, but black cumin has such a complex flavor it should not be substituted for the other two. No matter what color, these seed’s characteristic flavor and aroma comes from their essential oil which benefits from a quick frying or dry roasting.

Don’t have it?

In some cases, you can use caraway seeds (but only use about half as much), or a mix of caraway and anise seeds. Amber cumin seeds may be substituted for white cumin seeds and vice versa.

How to prep:

Toasting the whole seeds briefly before grinding expresses essential oils and brings out flavor.

How to store:

As with all spices, store cumin seeds away from light and heat and track their age by labeling purchase dates. Change your stock about every six months for ground spices and every year for whole spices. Spices don’t go “bad,” but as they age they will lose their potency.

Click here to purchase

    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Spicy Beef Rolls

    Flaky cigar-shaped phyllo rolls filled with meat seasoned with the warm spices of cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne are delightful when served with refreshing tzatziki or your favorite marinara sauce…

  • Recipe

    Roast Pork Chops with Baby Artichokes and New Potatoes

    This skillet dinner—with a pinch of cumin and a splash of balsamic—develops a sauce that delivers on flavor. To serve four, you can double the recipe and transfer everything to…

  • Recipe

    Spiced Date-Filled Pogaca Rolls

    The spice mix used here, called baharat, is a signature flavoring at Kilpatrick's café Sofra, and it takes the dried-fruit filling of these soft, airy dinner rolls to the savory…

  • Recipe

    Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Harissa Fry Sauce

    Harissa, a North African hot sauce, adds a bit of complex heat to a simple “fry sauce” (a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise) and perfectly offsets the sweetness of the…

  • Recipe

    Chickpea-Zucchini Pancakes with Yogurt, Za’atar, and Sea Salt

    These warmly spiced pancakes are studded with zucchini and brightened by scallions and a hit of lemon.

  • Recipe

    Orange-Cumin Marinated Chicken Thighs

    This Spanish-inspired marinade has a sweet, spicy, smoky flavor that works well with not only chicken but a wide range of meats and vegetables. The chicken thighs are delicious served…

  • Recipe

    Glazed Spice-Rubbed Spareribs

    Every summer, my dad makes the most delicious barbecued ribs. His trick is to add some smoked paprika to the cumin and fennel in the spice rub to guarantee smoky…

  • Recipe

    Crisp Indian-Spiced Potato Wedges

    Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these potatoes bring the heat and full-spice flavors of India to the table.

  • Recipe

    Sugar-and-Spice Lime Cocktails

    This refreshing cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to a summer menu of Indian dishes. The cumin adds a toasty note to an otherwise light and citrusy drink.

  • Sponsored Content

    Margarita-Marinated Strip Steak

    The margarita-inspired marinade for this grilled steak does double-duty; after infusing the steak with flavor, it's boiled down to a rich sauce. You can serve the steak sliced with the…

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

San Juan, Puerto Rico (513)

Miami chef Michelle Bernstein steps into the host role as Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking travels to Puerto Rico—an episode that was filmed in the summer prior to Hurricane Maria,…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks