A spice many people immediately associate with Indian curries, cumin is also an essential flavour in areas as diverse as Mexico
and North Africa. Toasting the seeds intensifies
the powerful and earthy flavour and brings out a nutty character in cumin.
Fry in oil then add dry
rice, coat in the oil then cook as normal for authentic jeera rice to
accompany a curry. Ground cumin seeds are also a suprisingly useful ingredient
in a Mexican-style chilli con carne.
Cumin is used in a chilled Indian
soft drink, sometimes with tamarind water and also in the caraway-flavoured
German spirit kummel.