Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to India. Its seeds (each one contained within a fruit, which is dried) are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. It also has many uses as a traditional medicinal plant.
It is an ingredient of most curries and many savoury spice mixtures, and is used in stews, grills – especially lamb and chicken dishes. It gives bite to plain rice, and to beans and cakes. Small amounts can be usefully used in brinjal and kidney bean dishes.