£1.30 – £9.90
Ground Organic Cumin
Product of: Pakistan
Nett Weight: 25g / 100g / 250g / 500g
Cuminum cyminum is an annual herb that grows to be about a foot tall and is native to China, Mexico, India and the Mediterranean. Its seeds are yellow-brown in colour and they are harvested by hand. White or pink flowers blossom on the cumin plant during its three to four month growing period during the hot summers. The small, flat seeds provide a peppery flavour that is used in Mexican dishes, as well as in combination with curry in Indian and Middle Eastern food. Some southern Chinese cooks use cumin to give unique flavours their dishes. Cumin is similar to caraway, coming from the same family of herbs, but has a stronger and coarser flavour and texture.
It’s always best to use whole cumin seeds that you grind with a mortar and pestle, but cumin powder is more convenient though it loses its flavour faster than whole seeds. Whole seeds will keep for a year when stored in a cool, dark place, while powder should be used within six months. For enhanced flavour, you may roast cumin seeds before using them.
Boil some cumin seeds in water and steep for eight to ten minutes for a soothing tea. Sauté vegetables and toss with cumin powder for a tasty vegetarian dish. Cumin is great sprinkled on rice and beans to give extra flavour. In Eastern cultures, cumin is mixed with black pepper and honey as an aphrodisiac but this combination is also tasty when put on fish, chicken and vegetables.
“How long do spices last?”
Depends on both the type of spice and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored spices, do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried spices (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. Pre-ground spices do still always work very well but if possible buy the spice whole and grind it just before you use it. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your spices:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat or sunlight.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.