Cumin is a popular spice which is grown from a flowering plant that belongs to Apiaceae family. Cumin is a seed of the small umbelliferous plant. It comes as paired or separate carpels, and are nearly3-6mm long. They have striped patterns of ridges and oil canals with hairy and boat-shaped appearance, tapering at each end, with tiny stalks attached. They resemble caraway seeds but are light brownish in color. It is known to be originated in Western Asia, where it is cultivated since Biblical times. Today the main cumin seeds producing countries are India, Iran, Indonesia, China and the South Mediterranean. In India, cumin seeds are sown from October until the beginning of December and harvested in February.
Buy cumin seeds that are dark brown in color as it indicates good quality. Ensure that the packs or jars are tightly sealed so there is no contamination or mold growth. Opt for buying whole cumin seeds instead of cumin powder and make your own cumin powder at home to avoid adulteration.
As cumin seeds have the ability to lower blood glucose levels people undergoing surgery should not consume these seeds. Excess intake of cumin may cause heartburn. (2)
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