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 familyCumin 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)


  1. Peel and mince the garlic. If you have a garlic press and want a stronger garlic flavor, go ahead and use it!
  2. Put the yogurt, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. 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.

Published by Culinary Chick

My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland. I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family. Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef. I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.

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