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Cumin

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Cumin

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to India. Its seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. It also has many uses as a traditional medicinal plant. Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma. It is globally popular and an essential flavouring in many cuisines, particularly South Asian, Northern African, and Latin American cuisines. Cumin can be found in some cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder and is found in  garam masala, curry powder, etc. Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to food, making it a staple in certain stews and soups. It is also used as an ingredient in some pickles and pastries. In Sanskrit, cumin is known as jira “that which helps digestion”. In the Kerala Ayurvedic system, dried cumin seeds are used for medicinal purposes. These seeds are powdered and used in different forms like kashaya (decoction), arishta (fermented decoction), vati (tablet/pills), and processed with ghee, a semifluid processed butter. It is used internally and sometimes for external applications also. In Kerala, water is boiled with jeera seeds, giving it a golden hue; and consumed for its distinctive and refreshing taste. It is believed that cumin is beneficial for heart disease, swellings, tastelessness, vomiting, poor digestion and chronic fever.

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