Benefits of Cumin

what is cumin benefitsWhat do you know about cumin? Cumin seeds are pungent, potent little things with the ability to significantly change the trajectory of a dish. They are featured prominently in Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and certain Chinese cuisines.

Back in the Middle Ages, cumin was one of the most popular – and most accessible – condiments for the spice-crazy Europeans, and stories tell of soldiers going off to war with loaves of cumin bread in their satchels for good luck. Cumin originated in the Mediterranean, and it was used extensively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Persians, and just about everyone in that region.

Cumin vs. Caraway

It’s not a good idea to substitute cumin for caraway, or vice versa. They are somewhat similar in appearance, but vastly different in taste. Cumin gives Mexican and Middle Eastern recipes their signature aroma, whereas caraway is most common in Eastern European dishes. Cumin seeds are larger than caraway seeds, and cumin is a more warming spice than caraway.

Cumin is often confused with caraway, which is actually called “cumin” in multiple European languages.

Health Benefits of Cumin

Cumin is in my top 10 favorite spices mostly for taste, but the benefits for health don’t hurt.

As is usually the case with spices that have been in use for thousands of years, cumin appears to provide a number of potential health benefits. It contains anti-glycation agents, antioxidants, and anti-osteoporotic, and much more. Note that many of the surnames in the following PubMed links are of Indian origin.

Cumin, along with ghee and a host of other spices, played a prominent role in the Ayurvedic medicinal traditions, and I love seeing a lot of these supposedly “old wives’ tales” get preliminary scientific justification:

  • The jury is still out on whether dietary AGEs1 are worrisome, but it’s clear that the formation of endogenous AGEs is a much bigger concern, especially for diabetics. In diabetic rats, cumin extract was more effective at reducing blood glucose and AGE production than glibenclamide, an anti-diabetic drug.2
  • Cumin’s anti-glycation properties proved useful in another study, in which diabetic rats were able to stave off cataracts after oral dosing with cumin powder.3
  • Another study found that cumin extract reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, and pancreatic inflammatory markers in diabetic rats.4 These effects were marked by a reduction in elevated cortisol and adrenal gland size, an increase in the weight of the thymus and spleen, and replenishment of depleted T cells. There was a dose dependent response, but all doses had beneficial effects.
  • An extract of cumin had anti-osteoporotic effects on rats, similar to estradiol, but without the associated weight gain. Cumin-dosed (orally, 1 mg/kg) osteoporotic rats had increased bone density and improved bone microarchitecture.5
  • Cumin protected the livers of rats from ethanol- and rancid sunflower oil-induced toxicity.6
  • One study even seems to suggest the potential for cumin to help weaning addicts off of opiates by reducing tolerance (yeah, it could increase the subjective high, but it would mean less product was required) and dependence.7
  • Antioxidant content of commonly available commercial cumin in Pakistan was found to be “potent.”8 It’s unclear whether the same holds true for cumin in other countries, but I imagine it probably is. Go with whole seeds and grind as needed, if possible, as ground cumin (and anything, really) will be more exposed to the air and thus more liable to degrade. If you’ve got ground cumin, store it in the fridge in an airtight, sealed container. It also helps to heat the seeds before grinding to really release the flavor. I usually toast them on a cast iron skillet over low heat for a couple minutes (just wait for the smell and don’t let them burn), but one study9 found that microwaving whole cumin seeds actually preserved the aromatic and antioxidant compounds better than traditional oven roasting. Go figure.

It is thought that some of the health benefits are magnified when you pair cumin with coriander.

Black cumin isn’t the same as culinary cumin – its uses are more medicinal.

What Is Cumin Good For?

Curries are great and expected places to insert cumin, of course, but why not branch out and explore? Cumin used to act as a replacement for expensive black pepper for people who couldn’t afford it, so why not treat it like that yourself and add it to things you’d otherwise never think to? Cumin and scrambled eggs. Cumin and sweet potatoes. Cumin and homemade stock for a nice hot drink before bed. If you’d eat it with black pepper, try it with cumin – not for any health benefits, necessarily, but just for a nice change of pace. My latest favorite is beef (any cut will do) marinated in lime juice, wheat-free tamari, and cumin. I just did a batch of bone-in short ribs like that with homemade beef broth, and it was incredible. I highly recommend it.

Cumin Recipes

Here are a few recipes featuring cumin as the star of the show:

Cumin and Coriander Lamb Stir Fry

Salmon Zucchini and Lemon Skewers

Instant Pot Lamb and Sweet Potato Stew

Cuban Mojo Chicken

How Do You Pronounce Cumin?

Depending on who is speaking, you may hear cumin pronounced as KYOO-min or KOO-min. The official pronunciation is KYOO-min.

Now you know.

TAGS:  smart fuel, spic

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

161 thoughts on “Benefits of Cumin”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Never even knew what cumin was all about till now. I guess I have something new to experiment with tonight after I stop by the grocery store and pick up some cumin. I love to experiment with new spices and see what new flavors I can discover.

    1. You’ve never had cumin???? oh my. Me on a desert island, it would be cumin and salt for sure. I have to say though, that is smells a bit like sweat and it’s one of those spices/herbs (like cilantro) that people either love or hate.
      Happy sampling!

    2. If any of you have an older dog, cumin is a perfect add to there food. Not only does it keep their tummy in tip top shape, it gives an old dog bunches of energy.

      1. I grew up in a Hispanic household, my mother was an excellent cook and baker. Although are diet was varied, I noted my mother did occasionally cook with the use of cumin. So I recently tried in a recipe for chile and found it to add a nice punch to the flavor, but last night I added it again to another dish and at about 1pm noticed I could not fall asleep. I felt as if I had all this energy, and I can only attribute that to the use of cumin. I think I’ll use it sparingly going forward.

    3. Try this, pour a little sour cream over some fresh strawberries. Top with a sprinkle or two of ground cumin. Sounds strange. Tastes wonderful.

    4. I am diabetic (type 2) and I love to put cumin, cinnamon and tumeric with a little sea salt on my freshly made popcorn which I popped in a little coconut oil. Not only is it a tasty combo on popcorn, but my “numbers” stay healthy. I do not take any medication, just control the diabetes with diet and exercise.

  2. Try liver, sauteed with a generous pinch of Cumin in Ghee.

    Another of my favorite ways to have cumin is, lightly roast the seeds, grind to a fine powder and have it mixed with some salt with a bowl of greek yogurt. For some extra effect add half a shredded cucumber to the mix.

    1. So your telling me that in order to low liver I just need to cook it in ghee or butter and add a lot of cumin? If so, I’ll give it a go… I have a lot ofcliver to eat up!

      1. Yeah, i bought a pack of brains awhile back and they have disappeared to the depths of my deep freezer… Liver is a bit the same. Good intentions…!

      2. Google Foie de Veau sautee. It’s a recipe for liver. I make it paleo friendly by pan frying in butter and coconut oil and use almond flour to “bread” the slices. It’s awesome.

  3. Oh, how I adore cumin. Especially with coriander.

    You can make some delicious mexican spiced nuts and seeds with cumin, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, salt and pepper as your spice blend. Toss the nuts and seeds in egg white so the spices will stick, and toast till golden. My fave blend is sliced almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds.

    1. I do the same thing with my almonds: tamari, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne, then roast them for a few minutes.

      I use the same spice combination with sauteed mushrooms and onions, and use it as a topping for just about any type of meat. Usually with grilled steaks, but it goes with just about anything.

  4. I used cumin to make a glaze for lamb ribs the other day. You parboil the lamb ribs for 45 minutes, then grill them. Baste with a mixture of marmalade, Dijon mustard and cumin.

  5. Cumin is excellent in a lot of cuisines. I like to use it for it’s depth of flavor in my chili, also as a basis for a rub on steak. I have had luck with rubbing a pork loin with fresh coriander and cumin seeds. You also can’t go wrong if you are using it with dried mushrooms to give a very dark undertone to a stewed dish.
    Heck, even roasted cauliflower is awesome with cumin as well!

  6. I mixed cumin and crushed garlic and made a wet rub for my steak before grilling it. It imparts a very nice smokey flavor.

  7. Hi Mark,
    Nice to see a post on cumin.
    Cumin is used everyday in my Indian kitchen. Here are some options apart from using them in curry.

    1) Steep a teaspoon of cumin in a liter of hot water. Strain and enjoy flavored cumin water. Aids in digestion.
    2) Roast cumin in ghee and powder it and add it to buttermilk and soups.
    3) Temper cumin in ghee and then add vegetables/ meat. Stir fry and add to the flavor with pepper and salt.

  8. You know what sounds good? Cumin coconut bread. I may have to go get some coconut flour and try a batch this week…

  9. Cumin is the spice heavily used in middle eastern countries.
    It’s used a LOT in dishes in the country of Turkey. My sister lived in Sri Lanka for awhile, it’s used heavily there, too.

    I’m not a fan of cumin even though I’m 50% balkan…it’s a nasty tasting spice, yuck.

  10. Cumin is a big spice here in the Czech Republic, bread, soups. While I could take it or leave it, it’s a pretty polarizing spice, I know a lot of people who despice (sorry) it.

    1. Actually the stuff that’s in almost everything in the Czech republic is caraway, not cumin. There’s an amusing passage in Albert Camus’ diaries complaining about the practice and if my own experience is anything to go by, things had not improved one bit by the early 1990s.

      The entire country seemed to smell of it, and, unlike what Mark would have you believe, it’s nothing like the sharp smell of cumin at all.

      1. Yes
        beware – the same goes for the scandinavian cuisine bread, cheese and cabbage -it is NOT cummin but caraway we use,
        BUT the problem is that it is called KOMMEN -so it is easy to mistake 😉 when translated

  11. rub cumin and chili powder on flank steak and grill. yummy. carne asada-ish.

  12. I have never even heard of this spice until now. Sounds like I have been missing out.

    I better go out to store now to get some 🙂

  13. Cumin is amazingly a key ingredient in alot of really, really different ethnic cuisines. Some of you have mentioned Czech, Turkish, Indian, Mexican….cumin is found in all of them. We keep it both ground and whole (in seed form) in our kitchen.

  14. Cumin roasted cauliflower–you’ll never steam or rice or mash it again! Toss flowerettes with some olive oil, generous amount of cumin, some smoked paprika, and salt & pepper if you like. Roast in a shallow pan 30-45 minutes in a pretty hot oven (400-ish). Mmmmmm, even my “cauliflower-hating” husband has seconds on this!

    1. My current favourite steak/roast cauliflower/chicken/brussel sprout spice mix is rosemary, smoked paprika, cumin seeds and sea salt.
      It’s gorgeous in just about everything I’ve tried it on.

    2. Oooo..cumin roasted beets! Much the same recipe. Seemed way weird to me, but I had beets in the fridge and decided to try it. Oh boy was it good!

  15. Cumin is great for mixing up with olive oil and drizzling over whatever plain protein you have. It’s a no-effot way to add some great flavor. Works especially well with ground turkey.

  16. Having grown up in Southern California, I have had Tex-Mex all my life. (Or technically “Cal-Mex” I guess.) I love cumin. If it helps with my diabetes, so much the better.

    Mexican food snobs would say that cumin is not used much in “real” Mexican cooking. Actually, it was brought to what is now the U.S. in 1731 by settlers from the Canary Islands. So I guess it is one of the earliest American foods, aside from American Indian ones. See more (than you want to know) in my blog under Tex-Mex.

    1. tex-mex in Colorado is how I was introduced to cumin. I love it. I make a meatloaf with that and chili powder. Yum 🙂

    2. Quinoa Enchiladas w/ cumin.

      Cook Quinoa in enchilada sauce (Tomato paste added to water with salt cumin and chili powder to taste, hot sauce optional).

      Make extra enchilada sauce, or use store bought (red or green.

      Put extra enchilada sauce in bottom of baking pan (extra cumin is good).

      Take round corn or flour tortillas and put cooked quinoa and a little shredded cheese inside. Roll tortilla up and place in dish on enchilada sauce with the open side down, do this until the baking pan is full with each enchilada touching each other.

      Pour more extra enchilada sauce to cover all the tortillas. (make sure you at least wet the corners with enchilada sauce to the ends don’t burn in the oven)

      Sprinkle shredded cheese for looks over top and add more cumin if you like (I like).

      Bake uncovered until top of cheese is melted. Serve hot with a spatula.

      Variations include adding beef/re-friend beans/spinach/onions/more cheese etc. to the quinoa before wrapping the enchiladas.

      Your friends won’t believe they are eating quinoa.

  17. I love to use cumin to make sauces and dips. My favorite is a yogurt-based dip to replace sour cream in tacos.

    -lime juice
    -chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    -salt and pepper

    blend together in a food processor and drizzle over tacos/taco salad. Especially great with fish tacos.

  18. I take food processed vegetables (spinach, kale, carrots, etc), meat of choice (usually chicken, beef, or tuna) and mix them together in a bowl. Next I add fresh salsa and cumin to season, and then heat it all up. A really fast meal!

  19. Try putting cauliflower florets on a dry baking tray, sprinkling with cumin and roasting. You can add a few drops of water but if I’ve just washed my cauliflower I tend not to bother as there is enough residual moisture. They take around 20 Mins and you end up with an intense taste of cauliflower which isn’t diluted by cooking in water. It also locks in all the nutrients which might otherwise be lost in the cooking liquor. Sounds weird, tastes yummy

  20. I used to use it in potato salad(when I still ate it)
    Now use it in celeriac,beetroot,carrot or any potato salad subs,but why do people always overdose it in chili!

  21. Cumin is my favorite spice, hands down. I love the muskiness of it. I use it in meatloaf, along with sumac and cinnamon and just a hint of garlic. Instead of tomato paste I use pureed roast red peppers, leaving about half in larger chunks. Saute onions, add egg and usually a mix of ground beef and lamb. I made goat burgers last night with the same spice mixture.

    1. I always thought Sumac was poisonous! Guess I’ll need to look that up.

  22. Cumin cumin everywhere…yummy. I like the instead of pepper idea on eggs, it’s on the breakfast menu for tomorrow. Thanks!

  23. Here where I live – let`s call this place central europe/mediterranean/balkans – we use cumin for – TEA.

    It tastes great, just put in in an almost boiling water and cover for 15 minutes. Together with ANISE it is well known tea for its great taste and as a traditional remedy (especially digestion troubles).

  24. I make pan-seared (in butter) butterflied chicken breasts dry-rubbed with cumin, salt and black pepper, and they’re -awesome-. Amazing how such a simple addition of seasoning can totally change the character of a dish!

  25. Cumin and turmeric in soups and stews is really, really good, it adds a whole new layer of flavoring.

  26. Cumin is a constant in portuguese and brazilian cuisine…My grandmother made a fabulous spice rub for pork chops and center cuts with cumin, white pepper and garlic…and brined it with red wine vinegar…While “un-primal”…her portuguese beans..feijoada?.. also were wonderfully fragrant with lots of cumin….

  27. Cumin is the key spice in my families traditional Turkish kofte recipe. Ground lamb, an egg, fresh coriander, finely grated onion and fresh garlic mixed with sea salt, pepper corns and cumin seeds ground with a mortar and pestle.
    I’ve never tried frying the seeds before but will give that a try the next time I make a batch. Thanks for the tip!

  28. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned using cumin in guacamole! Salt, garlic, cumin, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and your avocado is divine!

  29. Cumin KUHM-in, not KYOO-min or KOO-min. Cumin (which formerly was also spelled cummin) should rhyme with summon,

  30. i put Cumin on everything! …almost. Love cumin seeds sprinkled on my salad Yum

  31. In the Netherlands it’s used to flavor cheese. That is to say you can buy cheese with cumin seeds in it. If that is unavailable to you, possibly you can replicate the effect by sprinkling cumin seedson a piece of aged “Gouda”

  32. Fascinating! If cumin improves sensitivity to opium, perhaps it raises sensitivity to the body’s own opioids, which among other things could be a useful tool in combatting binge-eating behavior. I wonder if I start using cumin, will I be less tempted to eat the entire jar of macadamias in one sitting? An n=1 experiment awaits…

    Thanks Mark for another tool in the spice rack!

  33. You can pour hot water on 2 spoon cumin seeds and make tea. it has high iron content and other minerals. its very useful in IBD/IBS. In kerala, where Ayurveda originated, they drink cumin water with all meals and its served in all restaurants. roasted and crushed cumin seeds have nice intense flavor..use 2 make buttermilk which is damn gud for digestion and IBD/IBS.

  34. Personally, I’ve noticed that when consuming a lot of spices their scent tends to permeate the skin for the next day or so. I remember Mark commenting on eating certain types of spices to potentially ward off mosquitoes so I assume it’s a similar process. To that point I would warn anyone with a hot date coming up, not to over-do-it on the cumin the night before because that “fine body odor” smell well definitely be magnified the day after a cumin-laden meal. Instead, sweet-smelling spices like cardamom, fennel (be careful of the phyto-estrogens), or even large amounts of black pepper tend to have a perfume/cologne like effects, especially if you’re going sans deodorant. Does anyone else notice this effect?

  35. Make sure you don’t buy powdered cumin in the store. Buy the seeds, roast them, then squish them in a mortar and pestle. My niece taught me this and the taste is so dramatically different. I didn’t care for cumin until she taught me this way and now I have it almost every day!

  36. Having grown up in Texas, I use cumin in almost everything! One of my favorite easy sides is sauteed zucchini, red pepper, and onion sprinkled with cumin and chili powder in the last moments of cooking.

    I can’t imagine my kitchen without cumin!

  37. Cumin is an excellent addition to guacamole, hummus, or tabouli (among other things).

  38. So yeah, I just added cumin to the meal I’m making for dinner. Glad I had it in the cupboard!

    P.S. Cumin is *great* in guacamole.

  39. 30-second (/overnight) brisket, for the lazy meat lover who wants to cook once and eat well all week.

    1. Get a few pounds of grass-fed brisket with a nice fat cap (ask your farmer for a “point” which has more fat. If your grass-fed beef is too lean, ask your farmer to slaughter older animals — 3-4 years is good).

    2. Rub with salt to taste.

    3. Sprinkle liberally with whole cumin seeds.

    4. Roast uncovered, fat side up at 225F or so overnight (8+ hours). Any internal temp over 185-190 should soften a brisket sufficiently. Your container should have high enough sides to capture any rendered fat.

    5. Slice in the morning while warm. Save the rendered fat for other cooking purposes (it will be a bit salty and have a roasted cumin flavor) or mix it in with the sliced brisket. Reheat leftovers in the microwave.

    This works equally well with short ribs. Pull the bones out in the morning while warm and reserve for stock. For big joints like lamb/mutton shoulder, increase the temperature a bit to dissolve pesky tendons (235F works for me). Joints should reach an internal temp of 195-200F.

  40. When DH and I got married (almost 30 years ago) he didn’t care for (read: hated) ground cumin – he said it smelled like dirty feet! Dirty feet aside, personally I love the stuff and have used it for years in the kitchen – couldn’t live without it.

    So when I used it for cooking, I made sure to use it with other “normal, everyday” spices/herbs so DH didn’t have a clue it was in the meal. (He couldn’t stand any type of curry either.) I think it’s one of those things that you either love or hate.

    Fast forward to today: DH thinks anything cooked with cumin is wonderful and “so tasty” and he brags to everyone about what a wonderful cook I am and how good all this “Primal” food tastes!!

    I think it blends well with almost all ethnic cooking flavors (except for carb loaded, sugar loaded apple pie and as in potato,rice,wheat flour “American” cuisine).

    Hmmm – has anyone tried to make cumin-flavored ice cream? LOL

  41. Mix some chickpeas with cumin, salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil and roast for 40 minutes at 450F for an incredibly delicous result! Roasted chickpeas are a great snack or addition to any salad. They also add a great crunch to a fruit/yogurt parfait.

  42. Cumin in guacamole is the bomb.

    2 avocados
    2 T. lemon juice
    1/2 t. salt
    1/2 t. cumin
    garlic to taste

    Mash and mix and enjoy!

  43. I love cumin! One of my favorite marinades for chicken: chopped green chiles, olive oil, raw honey, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I just cooked some bone-in skin-on chicken breasts with this marinade. Bake uncovered for crispy flavorful skin. Another great: coleslaw dressed in a honey, cumin, cayenne dressing…add in a few finely diced apples. YUM!

    1. Cumin, butter (KerryGold Irish butter FTW) and a major squirt of fresh lime juice is absolutely wonderful on baked sweet potatoes and yams.

  44. I have always used a lot of cumin, mostly in Mexican recipes or in rubs for meat.
    Lately I have used it in a tuna salad served over ½ avocado, and also I put it in egg salad that I make with mashed avocado.

  45. I love cumin – I put it in all my savoury dishes.
    Cumin seeds are great fried up with kale.

  46. Yeah, have to try that cumin on eggs on the weekend. If it works, I’m most def going to overdose on cumin in the future.

    Let’s see how it’s cumin along. (I just had to say it!)

  47. Bevare
    Cumin =Cuminum cyminum)
    Caraway =Carum carvi)
    lots of people confuse those.

    Caraway is callen
    Kommen in danish
    Kummin in swedish
    Echter Kümmel in german
    Karwij in dutch

    While I enjoy in cumin I don´t really like caraway

  48. Cumin gives a whole new dimension to pumpkin soup – but you have to add it while it’s cooking!

  49. I am a black pepper fan and will have to try some cumin substitutions. My recent cayenne pepper eggs may turn into cumin eggs. Thanks for another great tip!

  50. I use cumin as one of the spices I put on meat before cooking. I’ll typically use sea salt, ground pepper, cumin, garlic powder and turmeric. These spices enhance the flavor of all meats and fish!

  51. There’s more to cumin than curries and middle eastern dishes. Cumin is the secret ingredient in great tacos.

  52. Great on pork chops (with garlic powder and organic spice mix from Costco) sauted in olive oil with red bell peppers and onions.

  53. I love, love, LOVE cumin! With garam masala, with chili powder, with chipotle, with hot curry powder – and I don’t think it smells anything like sweat…. it smells like far away, exotic lands! Delicious!

  54. We mix 2 tb toasted then ground cumin seeds with a 1 tb cumin powder with 1tb each oregano, basil, paprika, salt, pepper, and chill. We use it as a taco spice cooked with the meat! it is SOO yummy!

  55. I use it in cauli rice when I make Mexican food. I shred the cauliflower and sauté it in a skillet with a tablespoon full of coconut oil. Add salt, pepper and cumin to taste. I also use it in the marinade for carne asada.

  56. I had all the ingredients for primal tacos, and I’d already made the tacos. So, I added all the ingredients to my roast vegetables, with a whole lot of butter. It was surprisingly incredible, and I realized that I love cumin!

  57. I love to drink “tea” made from cumin it was my favorite drink in childhood, I still drink it everynow and then just pour some water over cumin seeds and bring it to a boil then add some sugar. its yummy 🙂

  58. Alas, not one of the spices I enjoy – at all. To me it just smells like sweat. I don’t mind it in curry, since all the other spices hide it, but I hate it by itself.

  59. I used Cumin randomly to enhance the taste of grass-fed beef. My daughter (7) is on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and hates meat, but I ask that she eat a little occasionally. She WILL eat ground hamburger with cumin, italian seasonings and dripped SCD yogurt. It is easy and tastes great.

  60. Love cumin. Toss some cubed butternut squash in oil of your choice and add cumin seed, salt and black pepper and roast in the oven. Yum! Would work with loads of other veg too.

  61. A simple bowl of cooked blueberries with a bit of sugar to sweeten them taste AMAZING with cumin…my new favorite, healthy dessert! 🙂

  62. I love seasoning chicken with broth made with sauteed onions, cumin, black pepper and salt! It adds wonderful flavor to egg tortilla as well.

  63. TEA. I am drinking it just now. I used to give carraway and anise seed tea to my kids when they were babies and I was nursing them, to reduce flatulence and prevent cramps. I figured boiling cumin seeds for a drink would be close to that. I prefer the taste of carraway/anise tea but this is not bad.

  64. Recently, I have developed an interest in Indian cuisine. So I challenged a few main dishes, after researching many Indian cookbooks and watching a few Indian chefs, in action, on
    After gaining expertise with their well known dishes, like Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Vindaloo (YUMM!) and Tandoori Kabobs, I then tried to make some of the Indian breads, some easy, some requiring practice to perfect. Naan is my favorite.
    End result in my ventures. I found that what I loved, was the aromas that are created and flow throughout the house when preparing a dish. OOOh, the smell of all those spices blending together as you add this one and that one. There’s nothing else that compares.
    From my new experience of so many new spices introduced to my palate and cooking knowledge, there are two spices which I now incorporate more frequently. Both with some of my own favorite dishes and on an experimental nature with other foods as well.
    After all is said, the two winners for me are: tumeric powder and cumin , ground and in whole seed form.

    I have always been a lover of rice, but now, I am a lover of rice with a generous dose of tumeric and cumin seeds. And I’m healthier for it.

  65. For a wonderful warm drink before bed, that is not only relaxing but also has anti-inflammatory and pain blocking effects, try mixing a generous pinch of cinnamon (I prefer the more pungent Saigon cinnamons), a pinch of cumin, a touch of nutmeg, a touch of ginger, and a sprinkle of cayenne into some milk. Warm it up and sweeten it to taste with honey (I like mesquite honey for this recipe.)

  66. How I use cumin: I make rice the usual way, except I mix in a packet of chicken bouillon, then when the rice is cooked and ready I mix in some cumin. It’s delicious!

  67. Use cumin in sauerkraut – instead of caraway. I had this in the Alsace in France – where sauerkraut (choucroute) is a traditional dish. Took me a couple minutes to figure out the taste – we had a very clever chef that night.

  68. I love to use Cumin alone with chile power to make soups about 2tablespoons each. Alone with chicken cubed I use garlic & onions and every green vegtable I can think of. From broccli to cabbage to greensbeans. It makes alot. I just eat to fill my stomach and the longer it sits, the better is gets.I have never appreciated cumin in eggs, but sounds great.

  69. I accidentally bought ground cumin at the store (thinking it was the same as curcumin). Still want to try curcumin since it can possibly help heal spinal cord injuries, but it’s good to know cumin also has health benefits too.

  70. Well I have an original, and delicious, use for Cumin that no one else has mentioned, perhaps haven´t found out.
    I mix cumin with curry and turmeric with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and thats what I flavor my pop-corn with! Full of flavor, lots of fiber and anti-oxidants, good for my health!

  71. Aside from the spice being used in cooking…ground cumin will also staunch the flow of blood from small wounds.

  72. In Tortilla soup (I usually eat it sans tortillas with extra avocado and lots of grilled chicken).

  73. Cumin goes really well with stuffed peppers. All you have to do is add it to the stuffing you usually make.

  74. There is a recipe from the Greeks who lived in Asia Minor (coast of Turkey) that is called Smyrna sausages (souzoukakia Smirnaika) which is very delicious and easy: Basically, you make meatballs shaped oval rather than round, with minced onion, garlic, parsley, egg, and bread, salt, pepper and cumin. You dredge the in flour and lightly brown them on all sides. Then add them to a pot of tomato sauce with lots of good red wine and cumin, and let them simmer in there until they are cooked. Serve them on top of cooked orzo pasta, and top with a grated cheese of your choice. Feta cheese (look for the authentic one made from *sheep’s* milk and from Greece–Costco and Trader Jo’s both carry it) makes a nice accompaniment.

  75. Cumin is a staple spice for Northern Mexico foods, or what is known as Mexican food in border states. Cumin is used in caldos (soups), guisados (sauteed then stewed meats/chicken/pork), sauce used for cooking arroz (rice). Without the cumin…there is something missing in the flavor.
    So the basic spices are onion, garlic and cumin for just about everything “Mexican”…..

  76. I love to eat cumin or curry on pizza r even better tomato pie!Its excellent!

  77. curious experiment. I sprinkled it on an almost flat cigar and it stimulated combustion besides giving it an incense like aroma in the room. It also seems to be a good remedy for bradychardia or slow beat heart. good luck. but be cautious it burns readily

  78. I found this site looking for info on cumin because I love it so much. I put it on and in everything. Eggs, shrimp, chicken, tuna salad…etc….today I made kale chips with cumin and chili powder. It was awesome. Thanks for all the info!

  79. This is my favorite spice. It makes any savory dish better. It ca be used in everything. Have yet to try it in anything sweet, but who knows,

  80. Cumin in some Eastern European countries are used to increase breast milk supply.. Works for some people.. Also it is very important ingredient in sauerkraut.

  81. i have cumin and pepper on a slice of toast with baked beans and poached eggs EVERY morning, Delisious.

  82. Garlic and cummin seeds grinded and some onion and tomatoes, a pinch of salt. Great mexican rice

  83. I use cumin in a chick pea salad. I make it with sliced or grated carrots, chopped sweet peppers, red onion, parsley, cilantro and a tsp of cumin, olive oil and lemon juice and a few drained cans of chick peas of course. We love it and have it at least once a week. The cumin gives it a very nice flavour – a very healthy and tasty salad. Friends love it too.

  84. I just began using cumin. Two days ago, as an alternative to hot chips from the store, I baked some mini tortillas mixed with vegetables, cumin, lime juice, salt, some oil and cayenne pepper. After eating them for a while on both days, I noticed my fingers were kind of swollen and hurt a little. I was afraid the cumin in excess amount was causing a kind of arthritis reaction in me. But after reading in this article cumin may be anti-osteoporotic, I think maybe the cumin may actually have stimulated calcium absorption (?!). Well since my bone density is low, now I’ll try taking my calcium supplements with cumin. Hopefully I’ll see some positive bone density effects!!

  85. Ayurveda fat burning tea I’ve been using is 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin whole seeds, 1/4 Teaspoon of Coriander whole seeds and 1/4 Teaspoon of Fennel whole seeds in 2 c of boiling water strain and put in thermos and sip during the day.
    Kulreet Chaudhary, M.D. suggested 1/2 teaspoon of those seeds in 4 cups of water but I like to just do a small batch using my 22 oz insulated Klean thermos. I can top with cold water to cool down a bit since I don’t like boiling hot drinks. Still stays pleasantly warm to sip on during the day. Lots of other different health benefits to all those ingredients especially for digestive function.

  86. Opps forgot to mention in my prior post… that the ‘fat burning’ Ayurveda tea I make with whole Cumin, Coriander and Fennel seeds is to detox.

  87. I am Latin American and use cumin often. I use it in soups, meat and salads.

    For salad use:
    -iceberg lettuce (romaine/ others will be too bitter with this recipe)
    -diced tomato
    -diced cucumber

    Now simply add salt, pepper, cumin and lime to taste. It’s awesome! And a healthier way to eat salad.

    Another way to eat it is on green mangos. Sprinkle coarse sea salt, coarse pepper and cumin on to the green mangoes and enjoy. Very tart taste, so if you like green mangoes this is for you.


  88. I use cumin in tacos, chili, tomato soup, beef soup, homemade pasta, salads, meatballs, dinner rolls, fish, peach cobbler, cherry bounce, honey w/ginger, cinnamon & cumin is an excellent immunity strengthener among other uses. The only limits seem to be personal taste enjoyment 🙂

  89. cumin is ingredient of lyden dutch cheese. yummy. i am going to try a cumin cheese stick recipe with phylo dough and a little hot pepper i just saw.

  90. I oven roast carrots (quartered) in coconut oil and sprinkled with turmeric and cumin and also fresh thyme leaves. Then the last 10 mins of roasting I drizzle on a little raw honey. My kids love them and eat them as an alternative to a packet of crisps (which I do NOT allow them to eat EVER!).

  91. Ok guys I cant believe no one ever mentioned this…
    Cut potatoes into dices , chop some onions , garlic & ginger . Heat the oil of your preference….brown the onion garlic ginger mix and then toss in the chopped potatoes..sear the potatoes while adding gracious amounts of cumin along with salt n turmeric. Cook in vegetables stock until done . Voila a healthy vegetable main course. ….

  92. I stumbled upon cumin about 2 years ago when I started making Pozole. It’s amazing in its strong flavor. I use cumin in chili, spaghetti sauce, greens, beans and just about anything. It’s very complimentary to garlic and onions. My Pozole is my most popular dish, requested by everyone I know. I also make killer salsa and cumin is that secret ingredient that has everyone coming back for more!!

  93. It’s part of taco seasoning (which I make myself). I don’t measure – just sprinkle all the ingredients into ground meat (delish on ground chicken and lamb). I add turmeric as well, even tho it’s not part of taco seasoning. I add lots of cumin to guacamole too.

  94. Definitely try cumin on rice (a small amount goes a long, long way). Also, potato/corn/cheese/green onion soup w/cumin (again, not too much) is a favorite recipe many of my friends have asked for. Will try it as others have posted. THANKS.

  95. I use cumin on my poached eggs with turmeric and fennel seeds with chia seeds mmmmm soo good.

  96. Every night before going to sleep, i mix and I drink in a glass of cold water these 5 herbs
    1. Turmeric powder
    2. Ginger powder
    3. Cinnamon powder
    4. Cumin powder
    5. Coriander powder
    I drink that every night and I feel incredible. I also always I eat healthy food not junk food

  97. Has anyone ever heard of using the plant fronds as a food? Is it poisonous?

  98. Huh, thought I’d commented on this when I read it the first time. Maybe that was under another post.
    Cumin is one of my favourite spices. I agree with those above who I noticed said it goes well with eggs while I was skimming comments. I also think it goes well with fish. I like it on sardines and salmon.
    It also tastes alright in small amounts in coffee. It makes it slightly earthy.

  99. I use cumin as a dry rub for chicken and fish (cod primarily). I also use it to sauté veggies. Add cumin to your coconut oil, add veggies and sauté on medium low. Noms

  100. I’m on a salt free diet so always experimenting with spices to replace it. I LOVE to put cumin on popcorn. It’s wonderful, try it!

  101. Although not a great fan of the flavor or smell I don’t cook lots of stews so I have learned to enjoy anything that is Good for me with it’s benefits so I put it in my morning oatmeal for it’s health effects and since it is fairly mild flavored I don’t notice it’s in there but I might start sprinkling it on my lunch sandwiches too, It makes you feel good that your getting something a little healthy in there too

  102. Has anyone tried cumin in a frittata? A Cumin Frittata. Now I will go and re-watch the movie, “Lion KIng”. Hakuna Matata to all.

  103. I just mixed cumin with some goat milk yogurt. Delicious if you’re looking for a way to flavor plain yogurt that isn’t sickly sweet. Chopped walnuts could be added for texture.

  104. Never heard of cumin till now. Will be taking it from now to lower my blood sugar level and cholesterol. Great stuff indeed!

  105. This is what I’ve been making lately:

    Rice + lime juice + chopped red onion + avocado pieces + lots of cumin sprinkled on and some salt

    It tastes AWESOME! It’s remniscent of Chipotle, except it’s dairy-free, night-shade free and doesn’t leave me feeling awful like Chipotle does.

  106. Cumin is fantastic with minced meat, vegies and potatoes (a sort of stew). A strange one, but it works, is melted cheese on toast with cumin – yum! 🙂

  107. I stir half teaspoon each of cumin,turmeric and cinnamon with a generous sprinkling of black pepper into my porridge every morning,and i’m still going strong at 95

  108. South Western style Chile con Carne (Beef ‘n’ Beans) is not Chile con Carne without Cumin, likewise all tacos, burritios, tostadas, enchiladas, fajitas….. must have cumin added when cooking any type meat used therein. To me, a border town boy, Mexican is not Mexican without CUMIN!

  109. Older post but still “fresh” to us.
    I have some “full fat Greek style yogurt” so I tried it with that. Tasted good and added to the savory, thanks for the suggestions.

    My assistant in cleaning dishes (my dog) liked it too.

  110. I have a handout for my patients with dietary and nutritional tidbits for helping to improve their health. I’ll definitely include some of this information. Thank you!

  111. Your sources are misleading you. KOOmin is the only acceptable pronunciation. On this there can be no debate.

  112. Nice post and useful information, thanks for sharing this post, and keep on sharing something new to make us more knowledgeable.