A basic Indian spice. Used mainly in North India. Used for its strong but very pleasing flavor. Cumin seeds are the seeds of Cuminum cyminum, which belongs to the parsley family. It is pale green in color and elliptical in shape with deep furrows.
Name in international languages:
Cumin, a small, annual herbaceous plant of the parsley family, grows to a height of about 25 cm. It flourishes best in sunny places with some rainfall. The small white or pink flowers grow on small compound umbels. The small, boat-shaped seed has nine ridges and it is brown-yellow in colour.The reported life zone of cumin is 9 to 26 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of 0.3 to 2.7 meters and a soil pH of 4.5 to 8.3. Cumin thrives on rich, well-drained sandy loam soil. The plant, which needs mild temperatures during a three to four month growing season, is intolerant of long periods of dry heat. Plant the seeds in a sunny location after the soil has become warm in spring. If the rows are 2 feet apart, with 16 to 20 seeds to the foot, no thinning will be necessary. Cultivate to control weeds.
Uses & Application:
It is used for its strong and very pleasing flavor and has qualities of digesting food. Cumin seeds has a penetrating flavor and aroma. Cumin seeds are used commercially as a principal ingredient in curry powder and is extensively used in Mexican dishes and marinades for meats.
Oil of cumin is used in fragrances. As a medicinal plant, cumin has been utilized as an antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, and stimulant. Cumin oil has been reported to have antibacterial activity. Distinct phototoxic effects have been reported from undiluted cumin oil. It is also used in veterinary medicines and perfumes.
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