Cumin seeds belong to the parsley and dill family and resemble caraway seeds, though they have a unique flavour that does not match any of these.
The oblong, brown-coloured cumin seed is one of the most popular spices in the world, thanks to its distinctive aroma, and warmly bitter flavour. It can be used raw, but is generally roasted to enhance the flavour and aroma, and sometimes also powdered before use. This ancient spice is popular in the cuisines of India, Mexico, North Africa, Western China and the Middle East.
Cumin powder is widely used in preparing curry powders. It is also used to make chhaas (buttermilk), kadhi, salads and subzis.
• It aids in increasing lactation.
• As it reduces nausea in pregnancy, it can be a good solution for morning sickness.
• Cumin stimulates the appetite.
• It can help boost the liver's ability to detoxify the body.
• It may help relieve symptoms of cold due to its antiseptic properties.
• Cumin can help increase body heat, thus improving metabolism.
• It is used as a stimulant and an antispasmodic, and is also said to relieve nausea and diarrhoea.
• Cumin seeds and cumin seeds powder should be kept in tightly-sealed glass containers in a cool, dark and dry place.
• Ground cumin will keep fresh for about six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.
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