Charismatic Cumin

The spicy highlight of this week is, yes, you guessed it, cumin! Being one of my favorite spices, I opted to try something a little different in my cooking adventure rather than my normal cumin routine. I made cumin infused jasmine rice. The warm, rich, sultry flavor  cumin can impart on many dishes (including my rice dish!)  gets me every time! What a versatile spice too –  it plays a starring role in Indian inspired, Thai or Mexican cuisine. Enjoy!

Country of Origin: Egypt but grown in the Middle East, India, China & Mediterranean
Scientific Name
:         Cuminum cyminum

Healing benefits:        Stimulant, astringent and supports digestive health. Used as remedy against indigestion, flatulence (a carminative), nausea and diarrhea. May have anti-carcinogenic properties including free radical scavenging abilities and the ability to enhance the liver’s detoxification enzymes.

Nutrient Profile:
Vitamins: Thiamin (B1), Vitamin A, Niacin (B3)
Minerals: Iron*, Manganese*, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesisum, phosphorus, copper
Phytochemicals: Limonene
*Most rich in these nutrients

Parts used: Seeds – resembles caraway seeds,  in the same family as parsley & dill

Flavor Notes: Peppery and nutty flavoring

Fun Fact: In addition to flavoring, in ancient times, cumin was mentioned in the Bible as a
currency used to pay tithes to the priests and as an ingredient to mummify pharaohs. It is also a symbol of love and fidelity – people were known to carry cumin in their pockets when attending wedding ceremonies
Some Uses: Mexican, chili, refried beans, cumin tea (boil cumin seeds), curry

Allahghadr T, Rasooli I, Owlia P, et all. “Antimicrobial Property, Antioxidant Capacity, and Cytotoxicity of Essential Oil from Cumin Produced in Iran.” Journal of Food Science. 2010; 75 (2).

Cumin Infused Rice


2 TBSP vegetable oil
½ teaspoon cumin, seeds or ground
1 ¾ cup water
1 cup jasmine rice


  1. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle in cumin powder, lightly mix, heat for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add Jasmine rice, stir and fry for 1 minute – careful not to let the grains burn
  4. Add water, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 more minutes.
  5. Fluff with fork and serve!

Ground Cumin

Cumin in Oil                                                               Frying the rice


If given the choice at Trader Joe’s I would have bought brown jasmine rice but they were out so I bought white. Jasmine rice has such wonderful flavor and aromatic qualities.  I imagine the flavors from the cumin would complement brown rice even more due to its’ light nutty flavor.  Frying the rice gives it a nice toasted flavor as well, but let’s just say mine was a bit heavy on the toasted flavor (I burnt the rice a bit, oops!). It still came out very tasty, I am looking forward to my leftovers! Only adding the cumin was not flavorful enough for me however the original recipe that I used called for cumin seeds so that may have made a difference. In the last five minutes the rice was cooking, I sprinkled in some dry minced onion, a little salt and another sprinkling of cumin. It came out delicious. I would definitely make this again but probably only use 1.5 TBSP oil. This “spicy” rice really jazzed up what otherwise may have been a boring meal with my fish and veggies. Added bonus, the rice only took 20 minutes and was so easy to make!

Cumin infused rice, green beans and fish

Keep it spicy!


How do YOU like to use cumin?

Do you have a favorite dish or food you like to use cumin in?

Categories: Recipes, Spices | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Charismatic Cumin

  1. I love Cumin! we cook a lot of Indian food at my house and cumin is an essential ingredient for making curries of all types. One of my favorites is Chole Palak (Chic Pea and Spinach Curry). Here’s a link to a great recipe from Manjula’s Kitchen:

    BTW, Everything I’ve tried on this site is excellent and it takes the mystery out of Indian cooking. Enjoy!

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