Cumin is a seed spice well known for its medicinal properties in India and many other Asian countries. A native of the land of Mediterranean, Cumin is now grown mainly in India, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, China and parts of America. A speed spice, cumin is grown mainly in hot climatic conditions. India is the largest producer and consumer of Cumin in the world. Indian output is currently estimated to be around 200,000 ton per year. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the major production centers of the spice in the country.
The seed is uniformly elliptical and deeply furrowed. Cumin seeds Jeera are the seeds of the caraway family. Two types -- black and white are available. White ones are generally used in curries and other large varieties of food. The black ones known as 'Shah Jeera' is more pungent and mostly used in pulao and biryani. This spice is widely used in most Indian, Pakistani and Bangladesh dishes, also in Middle Eastern, North African preparations, used in Spanish stews and American pies.