Author Topic: Cumin (Jeera)  (Read 2581 times)

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Offline Cory Ander

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Cumin (Jeera)
« on: February 19, 2008, 02:05 AM »
Cumin (Jeera)

Cumin is available in various forms:

  • White seeds
  • Black seeds ("kala jeera")
  • Powder (from ground seeds - invariably from white seeds)

Cumin has a distinctive warm, sweet, aromatic, savoury, smoky, slightly bitter flavour and smell.  The flavour of the seeds is significantly modified and enhanced by roasting or frying them to release their volatile essential oils.

Cumin is an essential ingredient of BIR cooking and is a major component (ground) in Curry and Garam Masalas.  It is commonly used in conjunction with Coriander.

White cumin seeds (or powder) are cheaper and more commonly available than black and should be used unless the recipe specifically requires the use of black (which is seldom).  Whole white cumin seeds are one of the five components of Panch Phoran and are often used in bhajis, rice dishes and chutneys. 

Black Cumin seeds are traditionally a major component of Garam Masala (ground).  They are darker and smaller than white cumin seeds and have a more subtle, less savoury, flavour.   Black Cumin should not be confused with Nigella (or "kalonji" or "a wild onion seed") which is often incorrectly labelled as black cumin seeds.

Photo (left to right):

  • White seeds
  • Powder
  • Black seeds

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Re: Cumin (Jeera)
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 03:51 AM »
I find this a very good spice to use with chicken tikka curries. I have added this in most of them and it adds a very nice flavour to complete the dish.


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