Very common in the cuisine of India, China, Africa and Mexico, cumin powder and seeds are a perfect spice to enhance the flavor of meat, cheeses and even vegetables, as well as to flavor bread and focaccia. Let’s go together to discover everything there is to know about cumin.
What is the flavor of cumin?
The flavor of cumin is very mild, similar to the flavor of fennel seeds. It is also about a spice with a really intense aroma. Precisely for this reason it is important not to exceed the quantity. Indeed, the risk is that this spice can cover the flavor of the other ingredients chosen instead of enhancing them. The dishes could also be too bitter, as well as too spicy. Those who are afraid of making a mistake can choose to use cumin powder. It is indeed much easier to dose than cumin seeds. It is usually enough to add half a teaspoon of powder to achieve the desired effect.
The flavor of cumin is perfect for cooking Indian, African and Oriental dishes in general. However, nothing prevents you from also adding this spice to Italian recipes. The best way to use cumin in cooking, both in Eastern and Western recipes, is to toast this spice in a non-stick pan for a few moments. The cumin seeds or powder should heat up slightly, obviously without burning. It is precisely for this reason that it is good to mix continuously with a wooden ladle.
How to use cumin seeds
When roasted, cumin seeds can be used to flavor many baked goods. They are perfect for the preparation of bread, but also for breadsticks and focaccia. Cumin seeds can also be added to creams for bruschetta and croutons. They are particularly perfect for cheese creams. After spreading the cream cheese and cumin on a crouton, add a slice of raw ham or speck for an even more gourmet starter. Cumin seeds can also be added to cheese-based sauces for pasta or custard.
How to use cumin powder
Cumin powder can be added to soups and broths. Cumin is also an interesting choice in vegetable soups, as well as in meat sauce or tomato sauce. With the cumin powder it is possible to flavor the butter, to be used later to season pasta and rice. Flavoring it is very simple. In fact, just add a tablespoon of cumin to softened butter at temperature, mix well, create a stick with this mixture and put it in the refrigerator to firm it up properly wrapped in parchment paper. The cumin powder can then be added to herbal teas and infusions, to obtain a hot spicy drink with a very particular flavor.
The best recipes with cumin
Cumin powder is essential in the preparation of guacamole, a Mexican sauce that has its roots in time and can be served as an aperitif or aperitif. For the preparation of the guacamole you will need:
- Lime juice
- copper tomato
- Green pepper
After cutting the avocado in half and removing the core, remove all the pulp. Cut the pulp into small pieces and put it in a bowl to flavor it with lime juice. Using a fork, work the avocado until you get a real purée. Season with salt and pepper. Then chop the shallot very finely and cut the tomatoes into cubes. Clean the chilli, remove the seeds and ends and cut it into small pieces. Mix all the ingredients together and also add a teaspoon of cumin. Here, the guacamole is ready to be tasted.
Garam masala also involves the use of cumin, a spice blend widely used in Indian cooking. You can also prepare this spice blend at home, using cumin, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, black pepper, green cardamom fruit, cloves, cinnamon powder, garlic powder, turmeric. All these spices must be roasted in a pan for a few minutes and then passed through a blender. The garam masala is ready, perfect for flavoring the meat.
In China, cumin is used to flavor many meats, including lamb which is thus spicy and tasty. This recipe also includes the use of mushrooms, chilli, soy sauce, sesame seeds, pepper, shallot, coriander, a very rich dish in which many spices and seasonings come into play.
There is also black cumin, which tastes very different from the cumin we just discussed. Its flavor is actually very similar to that of onion. Although the flavor is different, the use in cooking is similar. Also in this case, it is in fact possible to use black cumin seeds or oil to flavor bread and other bakery products, sauces and condiments, cheese spreads, soups and broths.
The properties of cumin
The spice that can be obtained from the seeds of the cumin plant allows us to give the dishes that we bring to the table every day an intense flavor, thus enhancing all the ingredients in the best possible way. Not only that, but cumin also has many benefits for our body. First of all, it is important to remember that cumin has important digestive properties. It is the ideal choice for those who suffer from digestive problems, therefore abdominal swelling, heaviness and also to counter constipation. Cumin also helps regulate blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels in the blood. It has significant antioxidant power. The consumption of cumin therefore allows you to keep your body young for a long time, avoiding the risk of falling on many diseases and promoting the proper functioning of each organ.