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 curry powders 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 aubergine and kidney bean dishes.
The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treat piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, skin disorders, boils and cancer.