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Cumin (cummin, Cuminum cyminum) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to East India. Cumin is a member of the parsley family. Its seeds, in ground form, are used in the cuisines of many different cultures. Cumin seeds resemble others of the Umbelliferae family such as caraway, parsley and dill.ley, and cilantro.
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Cumin has been in use since ancient times. Seeds excavated at the Syrian site Tell ed-Der have been dated to the second millennium BC. Cumin is mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament It was also known in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container. Cumin was introduced to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists.
Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds to provide a distinctive aroma. Cumin adds an earthy and warming feeling to cooking, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as curries and chilli.