You are in: Home / Kitchen Dictionary Entry
Lost? Site Map

Kitchen Dictionary: cumin

Pronounced: KUH-mihn


An aromatic spice with a distinctive bitter flavor and strong, warm aroma due to its abundant oil content. Cumin "seeds" are actually the small dried fruit of an annual plant in the parsley family. Native to the Mediterranean, cumin is hotter to the taste, lighter in color, and larger than caraway, another spice it's sometimes confused with. Sold whole or ground, the seeds come in three colors: amber, white or black. Amber is most widely available, but the black has such a complex flavor it should not be substituted for the other two. Cumin is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, and is one of the main ingredients in curry powder.

plural: cumin


Season: available year-round

How to store: Store in an airtight container and place in a dry, cool area, away from light. Flavor and aroma can be retained for up to six months.

Matches well with: beans, chicken, couscous, curry, eggplant, fish, lamb, lentils, peas, pork, potatoes, rice, sausages, soups, stews, eggs

Substitutions: caraway seeds (use half as much); or caraway seeds plus anise seeds; or chili powder; or Amber cumin seeds may be substituted for white cumin seeds and vice versa.

More Cumin Recipes
Popular Cumin Recipes
Lime-Soaked, Cumin-Crusted Skirt Steak
Indian Cumin Potatoes ( Jeera Aloo )
Fantastic Huevos Rancheros With Cumin Lime Cream

Nutrition Facts

Calculated for 1 tbsp, whole
Amount Per Serving %DV
Calories 22
Calories from Fat 12 (53%)
Total Fat 1.3g 2%
Saturated Fat 0.1g 0%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Potassium 107mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 2.7g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0.6g 2%
Sugars 0.6g
Protein 1.1g 2%

How is this calculated?