Cumin seeds are native to Mediterranean and Northern Africa. It has first cultivated in Egypt. This has also been cultivated in Middle East, Africa & India primarily. This is an extensively used and popular condiment or spice. In Indian curry it’s the most used spice as like salt and oil. It has a distinct earthy taste and strong aroma because of its essential oil.
Culinary Use of Cumin
Cumin seeds are most essential part of our daily cooking because of its strong and punching aroma. It’s full of medicinal properties as well. Cumin seeds are used both in curries, dry fried vegetables, in all tadka/ tampering used as well as dry roasted form which are used as additional seasoning. Both forms give little different taste. However the course powder form of dry roasted cumin gives strong aroma and nutty flavor.
Cumin powder is often found with other blended spice mix e.g. Garam Masala, Curry powder, Chili powder, Barbeque sauce and into many pickle making spice. Also its used in bakery products. But the quantity is less as compared to other spices because of its strong and dominating aromatic oils.
Apart of vastly used in Indian Cuisine, it gets well incorporated to variety of cuisines. Cumin powder loses its flavor if kept for long. So while buying keep in mind the quantity used over a time. However store them in freezer to intact their flavor for a long period. This increases the cell life of all spices in fact.
Benefits of Cumin Seeds:
Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum) is a popular spice with long use of medicinal value to treat many diseases. Sanskrit name of cumin seeds is “Jiraka” which means “that helps in digestion” show its benefit in digestion and also signifies why it’s been used widely. It has high nutritional value. Each 100g of cumin seed contains 375 kcal energy, 44 g carbohydrates, 10 g dietary fibre, 22 g fat (out of which 15 g in monounsaturated form), 17 g protein and full of minerals and vitamins like Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, C, K, E, B and very low in Sodium
Experimental studies have shown that cumin possesses antimicrobial, anti carcinogenic, anti diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinociceptive, anti tussive, anti epilepsy, hypo cholestrolemic and anti fungal properties.
Major benefits apart from healthy digestive system are:
Helps in controlling blood sugar – Because of the anti-diabetic properties it helps in controlling insulin level and reduces advanced glyceton end products (in test-tube samples). However the exact quantity is not clear.
Anti-inflammatory – Cumin seeds have anti-inflammatory properties and hence help in digesting foods properly. Also because of one major component in its essential oils named as cuminaldehyde activates the salivary gland of mouth which helps in food digestion.
Another compound thymol activates secretion of acids, biles from lever which are required for food digestion. Also the magnesium, sodium content helps in digestion. Because of anti-inflammatory properties it helps in reducing pain associated with arthritis.
Treatment of Anaemia: Its rich in iron (369%) and hence regular consumption helps treating low haemoglobin and beneficial in treating anaemia.
Helps in regulating BP and lowering cholesterol – Due to its high potassium content, it balances out the sodium level and regulates blood pressure. It lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
Helps in weight loss – Because of its anti-inflammatory properties it helps in reducing bloating of gut and digestive tract. It also helps in absorption of fat efficiently and speeds up the metabolism of body. Thus helping in weight loss.
anti carcinogenic and chemo-preventive – It has anti carcinogenic and chemo-preventive properties which help to fight free radicals at first defence and to detoxify the cancer causing factors.
Strengthens immune system – Because of its high iron and vitamin C content, it helps in strengthening our immune system and helps in fighting common cold and flu symptoms.
Beneficial for Lactating Mothers – It has iron in 369% and iron is an essential requirement in pregnant and lactating mothers. So regular consumption fulfils the iron requirement of body. Also the component thymol helps in secretion of milk in lactating woman
Medicinal Recipes with Cumin Seeds:
For Lactating Mothers:
Mix one tsp cumin power with 1 tsp sugar and add with 1 glass of milk and consume before bed time for few weeks.
Boil 2 tsp whole cumin seed in 1 glass of water till it’s reduced to half cup. Strain the water and mix with half cup of milk. Add honey to it and consume twice a day for few weeks.
For controlling BP – Consume 1 tsp cumin powder with 1 cup of curd.
For Weight-loss – Soak 2 tbsp cumin seeds in water overnight. In morning boil the water till it reduced to half. Consume this drink in empty stomach in morning for 1 month minimum.