Cumin (pronounced “KYOO-min”) is a spice made from the dried seed of a plant known as Cuminum cyminum, which is a member of the parsley family. Cumin is commonly used in Mexican, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, among many others.
Cumin is an ancient spice grown in Egypt and the Middle East. It has been found in four-thousand-year-old excavations in Syria and in ancient Egypt, where it was used both as a spice and in preserving mummies. It appears in the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, in both cases mentioned in the same line as dill. It was used extensively in India from ancient times as well as by the Greeks and Romans. It made its way into Mexican and South American cuisine after European colonization, especially by the Spanish and Portuguese.
CUMIN YOGURT DIP
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (plus more to taste)
- Peel and mince the garlic. If you have a garlic press and want a stronger garlic flavor, go ahead and use it!
- Put the yogurt, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
- Cover and chill to allow the flavors to blend for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days (note that the garlic flavor will build over time, so if you want to make it more than a few hours ahead, it’s best to add the garlic just before serving). Transfer to a serving bowl and serve, chilled or cold, with cut-up vegetables and/or crackers.