The Lowdown on Cumin

November 12, 2020

There are a variety of different spices used within Indian cuisine that make the food so flavoursome and provide an edge of authenticity that other cuisines just cannot compete with. Cumin is one of these and it often doesn’t get the credit it deserves when chefs and diners alike discuss the key aspects of Indian cooking. Read on as we go over everything there is to know about cumin…

As an ancient spice that is thought to have originated in Egypt and the Middle East, cumin has even been found at excavation sites that are around 4,000 years old and was even used during the mummification process. It has been used to flavour food in India for hundreds of years and was brought to Mexico and South America during European colonisation by the Spanish and Portuguese.

Cumin comes from the dried seeds of a plant called Cuminum Cyminum which is harvested by hand on an annual basis. It can be used in its whole seed variety or in a ground form, which is usually made by grinding roasted seed using a mortar and pestle. In Indian cuisine, the seeds are typically added to hot oil at the start of the cooking process in order to infuse and bring out distinctive flavours that shape an entire dish.

Although it is a spice, it’s important to note that cumin doesn’t necessarily give a dish a lot of heat. Instead, it has a warm and earthy aroma that is both sweet and bitter at the same time. Toasting the whole seeds will provide a dish with the maximum amount of flavour that can be harnessed from cumin. The seeds can even be stored for up to 4 years in a cool, dry cupboard whereas ground cumin should be stored for no longer than 6 months.

Here at Royal Nawaab, our chefs are trained to deliver a truly authentic Indian dining experience and that is why all of our dishes are made using traditional spices like turmeric, saffron and cumin. After all, we know that our restaurant in Manchester is known widely amongst the British Asian community and it is our mission to supply familiar and hearty food for all of our diners. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the team today!