Botanical Name: Cuminum cyminum L
Family Name: Apiaceae
Commercial Part: Fruit
Hindi Name: Jeera
Cumin is the dried fruit of a small herbaceous plant and was popular even during the Biblical times as an efficient digestive food flavor for ceremonial feasting. From Latin America to North Africa and all over Asia cumin is the most popular spice used. Not just today but history also has experienced the flavor of cumin during the Roman Empire and in the ancient India where cumin has its mention as the sugandhan "well-smelling".
Cumin is one of the most typical spices for India and is fried or roasted before usage. Legumes, especially lentils are normally flavored by cumin fried in butterfat. Cumin also forms an essential part of the curry powder and of the Bengali spice mixture, panch phoron, besides being used in Northern Indian tandoori dishes. In imperial North Indian cuisine (Mughal or Mughlai) the mixture of cumin is prepared to relish sweet and aromatic flavor. This spice mixture is sometimes used for cooking, but more frequently sprinkled over the dishes before serving.
Cumin is a very popular spice in Western to Central Asia (Near and Middle East); in central and South America along with Burma, India, Indonesia. Indian cumin finds worldwide use in foods, beverages, liquors, medicines, toiletries and perfumery and grows abundantly in the mild, equable climate of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Rich, well- drained, sandy, loamy soil and the sun are the basic requirements of this spice for perfect and ample growth.
Indian cumin is exported in its natural as well as powdered form, besides as essential oil to USA, Singapore, Japan, UK and North Africa.
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