The earthy, nutty and spicy flavour of CuminJul 02, 2023
Here's the fourth in the series on culinary spices. If you missed last week, click HERE.
Cumin is an ancient spice grown in Egypt and the Middle East. It has been found in 4,000-year-old excavations in Syria and in ancient Egypt, where it was used both as a spice and as an element in preserving mummies. It appears in the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Since ancient times, cumin has been used extensively in India as well as by the Greeks and Romans. Cumin is made from the dried seed of a plant known as Cuminum cyminum, which is a member of the parsley family. It is available both as whole seeds as well as in ground form.
Cumin for your health
While humans have been using cumin in culinary dishes since ancient times, they have also been used for a variety of health purposes, from digestive issues to respiratory conditions. In particular, Ayurveda recommends cumin for a variety of health concerns.
It’s believed that cumin is beneficial for:
- Stimulating agni (digestive fire)
- Decreasing gas
- Helping with indigestion
- Flushing out ama (toxic waste)
- Relieving congestion
- Contains antioxidants and iron
- Soothing inflamed mucous membranes
- Improving elimination
- Helpful for heart disease, hemorrhoids, insomnia, vomiting, weakened immune system, viral infections
Cooking with Cumin
When cumin is added to food, it creates a warm and earthy flavour — making it a staple in certain meat dishes, gravies, stews, soups, curries and chili dishes.
- Whole cumin seeds can be added to hot oil at the start of the dish so the flavour infuses the oil and therefore the rest of the dish.
- More flavour is brought out when the seed is lightly roasted, which is done easily using a dry pan over medium heat.
- Ground cumin is made by grinding dry roasted cumin seeds. It can be added at any time to a recipe as its flavour doesn't need heat or time to be released, as is the case with the seeds.
- More intensity can be enjoyed by lightly roasting whole cumin seeds and then grinding the seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Once ground, cumin will gradually lose its flavour over time and should be replaced regularly.
So next time you’re looking to spice up your recipes, look no further than Cumin!
Easy Falafel Patties
- 3 cups Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- ½ Yellow Onion (chopped)
- 2 Garlic (cloves)
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
- 1/4 cup Parsley
- 1/4 cup Mint Leaves
- 1 tsp Cumin (ground)
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Add all of the ingredients except the oil to a food processor. Blend on high until a batter is created.
- Form the batter into four to five-inch diameter patties, approximately 3/4-inch thick. There should be one patty per serving.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for five to seven minutes on each side, until browned and starting to crisp.
- Serve in a bun or pita or lettuce wrap with hummus or tzatziki.
CCF Tea – an Ayurvedic combination of three classic culinary spices—cumin, coriander, and fennel—this tea aids in the absorption of nutrients and stimulates the lymphatic system.
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 4–5 cups water
- Heat the water in a stainless steel pot over high heat.
- Add the seeds and allow the tea to boil for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the preferred strength.
- Strain out the seeds and sip throughout the day.
For more info on this and other natural health topics:
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