Cumin seeds (Jeera)

Cumin seeds, commonly known as Jeera 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. The cumin plant grows to 30–50 cm (12–20 in) tall and is harvested by hand. The main producer and consumer of cumin is India. It produces 70% of the world supply and consumes 90% of that (which means that India consumes 63% of the world's cumin). Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavor and aroma. Cumin can be found in some cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional bread from France. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder (often Tex-Mex or Mexican-style), and is found in achiote blends, adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, and bahaarat. In South Asian cooking, it is often combined with coriander seeds in a powdered mixture called dhana Jeera.