Did you know that after black pepper, cumin is the most used spice? This flavoursome spice brings about additional heat to any dish along with balancing fruitiness.
Its pungency is great for marinating meat and its spiciness elevates the flavours of vegetarian dishes. Cumin is available both as seeds and ground as well – however, if you are going that extra mile and cooking from scratch, go for the whole cumin seeds as grinding intensifies the flavour.
To make the most of this versatile spice, it is important to know how to heat it and when to add to your dish.
How to cook?
To retain the nutty flavour of the seed, toast them in a dry skillet until it releases just a bit of fragrance and then transfer them to a bowl so it doesn’t overcook. To infuse the entire dish with the flavours, fry them in hot oil unit it begins to crackle and then add your additional ingredients. However, remember, cumin burns easily, so do not overcook them.
When to add?
When cooking a gravy dish, biryani or a pilau add cumin at the start of the dish for it to form an earthy and spicy base.
If you are looking to make a chutney or a salad, toss it towards the end. Here is a tip – toss some toasted seeds on roasted potatoes or vegetables with a pinch of coarse salt or drizzle some cumin-fried oil in soup or as a salad dressing.
Now, that you know how to make the most of this essential spice, remember always to store it in an airtight container away from sunlight.