A very aromatic seed, sold in both solid and ground format and comes from a small plant that is a member of the parsley family. Although the plant is native to the Nile Valley, it is now cultivated all over the world. Cumin seeds look like anise, dill or caraway seeds and are used in curries, chili powder, meat stews, Mexican dishes, sausages, Indian dishes and chutney. The Dutch and Swiss use cumin seeds in cheeses and in Alsace and Germany they are indispensable to sauerkraut dishes.
Also known as comino, Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world, right behind black pepper. Its aromatic, nutty-flavored seeds come in three colors: amber (the most widely available), white and black (both found in Asian markets). White cumin seed is interchangeable with amber, but the black seed has a more complex, peppery flavor.