The Cuminum cyminum plant is a source of cumin. Cumin is added to many Mexican dishes and curries. It is an important ingredient in spice blends.
It is best for flavoring your dishes. Cumin belongs to the parsley family. Cumin also works as an antioxidant. We use it because of its aroma, but that’s not all.
Cumin is used in medicine which treats a lot of diseases. It prevents inflammation from spreading. Cumin has many advantages. It is good for your health.
Although, cumin lasts for three to four years. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t go bad. The cumin, which is commercially packaged, doesn’t go bad. However, it can lose potency if it lacks proper storage.
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How to store cumin?
Like we store spices, cumin requires the same method. Storing cumin is not a hard task. It will help if you keep your spices in a condition where they don’t spoil.
In this article, some proper ways are given to store cumin. You can enjoy long-term usage of your cumin if you store it as written below.
Store in Dark, cool places
The health of cumin depends to a large extent on how you store it. Cumin, like many other spices, needs a cool temperature.
It is best if you keep it in the dark areas. Dark areas refer to the places where there is sunlight. Excessive heat act as a factor to boost up your cumin spoilage.
Keep your cumin away from the sources of heat, such as ovens. It would help if you stored cumin in dark and cool places. This way, you can extend the shelf life of cumin.
At room temperature
As mentioned above in this article, you must keep it away from sunlight and much heat. You must be wondering about at which temperature.
Your room temperature is best for extending the shelf life of cumin. We know it’s not only the room temperature alone. We also have to take care of other factors along.
Your pantry or kitchen cabinet tends to have favorable conditions for your cumin. It would help if you kept your cumin there for years, and it won’t spoil.
The dark and cool place inside your kitchen cabinet would work well for your cumin’s storing purposes. It is safe to put your cumin there. You can also keep it in your pantry for more than a couple of years.
Containers with tight-fitting lids
Keep your cumin in containers or jars having tight-fitting caps. This way, you can prevent moisture. Moisture must not be present in cumin. You can save the bulk of your cumin in such containers.
Moisture always leads to mold formation, and as a result, your product spoils. Avoid storing cumin in areas where there is a risk of moisture. Moisture-free areas are recommended to store cumin.
Can we freeze cumin?
Cumin offers three to four years of shelf life and can be kept in a freezer. Ground cumin can stay good for six months in your freezer.
However, we won’t suggest you go for the freezing option. Cumin already has a pretty long shelf life still. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you can freeze it.
On condensation, usually, there exists a problem when you freeze cumin. Freezing causes problems like each time you take your spice out of the freezer, there could be unwanted moisture. It is not a good idea if you decide to freeze cumin. Please try not to freeze it.
How long does cumin last?
The shelf life of almost every food is directly proportional to how you store it. Better storage means better shelf life. Carelessly stored product is more prone to get spoil soon.
Similarly, when it comes to cumin, it demands better storing conditions for its better health. Keep it at room temperature, away from moisture.
Perform function which helps in increasing the shelf life of your product. Your pantry is the best place to keep your spices for a long time. Commercially packaged cumin can reduce potency over time.
There are fewer chances that it gets spoil completely. To enhance the shelf life of cumin, implement the ways mentioned previously in this article.
Try not to freeze your cumin as it is not recommended. It is better to use it for three years. Cumin sits well in the kitchen cabinet for up to three to four years.
How to tell if cumin is bad?
It is sometimes a little tricky to figure out that whether your spice is expired or not. Well, if you want to check whether you can consume your cumin or not, look for the signs written below.
- Observe the color of the cumin. Old spices often lack vibrancy and turn to dusty and dingy colors.
- Taste cumin. If it still tastes fresh, use it without hesitation, but if it doesn’t, toss it.
- Have a small amount and rub it on your palm. Check if it smells off. If you sense something off with taste, color, or smell, it’s good not to use it.
What does Cumin Look Like?
As stated above, the seeds and ground form have different looks. Cumin seeds have a high resemblance to caraway. That’s why people mostly confuse between both. However, Cumin is a little longer than caraway. This spice has a boat-like shape. It has a brownish-yellow color. But it also has some other varieties which come in different colors like green cumin, white cumin, and green cumin. While its ground form is a little different. Though it has the same color, it comes in a powdered form that looks like the ground form of cardamom.
Where does Cumin Come From?
Cumin comes from the Cuminum Cyminum plant that belongs to the parsley family. The seed normally grows at the height of 30 cm to 50 cm. The plant has glabrous, slender, and branched stems. The stems are about 20 cm to 30 cm tall with a diameter of 3 cm to 5 cm. Each branch comes with three subbranches. Its branches have the same height. Besides, all branches have the same height, which makes the plant a uniform canopy. Each stem has either dark green or grey color. The leaves in this plant have leaflets. While it also has small flowers attached at the top of stems. These flowers come in either pink or white color.
How is Cumin Made?
The process of making Cumin starts with its plant. Once the plant grows and reaches the harvesting stage, then you can pick the seeds. Cumin seeds can only be picked by hand. Cut the stems gently. Ensure not to rush because the seeds can easily fall off, and you should not waste the seeds. Once you cut them, take any bag, put the stems in it, and then shake them until the seeds come out. Then you can separate the stems and seeds. The whole form of Cumin seeds is ready for use. However, for the powder form, you must use any grinder to grind the seeds.
What Does Cumin Taste Like?
Cumin has a little earthy flavor. It has a warm taste with a great combination of bitterness and sweetness. Its sharp and zesty taste resembles the taste of carrot skin or parsley.
How is Cumin Used in Cooking?
How Cumin is used depends upon its type. If you are using whole seeds, then make sure to include them early in the recipe. It will allow the spice to release aroma and flavor. Besides, if you add it in hot oil or broth, then it will lose its essence. And if you are using the ground form, then you can mix it with other spices and use it with them, including garam masala, chili powder, and salt, etc.
What Types of Cuisines Use Cumin?
Both ground and whole cumin are used in a wide range of cuisines. It is an important ingredient in Indian and Mexican cuisines, while it is also used in many other cuisines. You can use this spice in meat, slow-cooked items like soup, and vegetables, etc. For example, cumin is used in Indian Cumin rice, Middle Eastern falafel, cauliflower soup, cumin chicken, cumin yogurt sauce, sandwiches, etc.
What is a Cumin Substitute?
If you are out of Cumin, then you can use caraway seeds, ground coriander, chili powder, taco seasoning, curry powder, garam masala, paprika, and fennel seeds to substitute it.
Where to Buy Cumin?
You can buy Cumin online or in any grocery store. However, here we will provide the list of some best and high-quality Cumin in both whole seeds and ground form. These products have great flavor and aroma.
- Badia Spices inc Spice, Cumin Seed Ground, 16-Ounce, Yellow Multi (087881)
- McCormick Culinary Ground Cumin, 14 oz
- 365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Seasoning, Cumin – Ground, 1.52 Ounce
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