Cumin (Cuminum cyminum, pronounced /ˈkjuːmɨn/ or UK: /ˈkʌmɨn/, US: /ˈkuːmɨn/, and sometimes spelled cummin) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to East India. Its seeds, in ground form, are used in the cuisines of many different cultures.
Food features:Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30–50 cm (0.98–1.6 ft) tall and is harvested by hand. It is an herbaceous annual plant, with a slender branched stem 20–30 cm tall. The leaves are 5–10 cm long, pinnate or bipinnate, thread-like leaflets. The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels. The fruit is a lateral fusiform or ovoid achene 4–5 mm long, containing a single seed. Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in color, like other members of the Umbelliferae family such as caraway, parsley and dill.
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Nutrition:Although cumin seeds contain a relatively large percentage amount of iron, extremely large quantities of cumin would need to be consumed for it to serve as a significant dietary source (see nutrition data).
Dietotherapy function:Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper.[unreliable source?] Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma, popular in Indian, Pakistani, North African, Middle Eastern, Sri Lankan, Cuban, northern Mexican cuisines, central Asian Uzbek cuisine, and the western Chinese cuisines of Sichuan and Xinjiang. Cumin can be found in some Dutch cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France.