How to use cumin (and five favorite recipes)
Would you like to travel around the world? I do it all the time -- in my kitchen. While some ingredients are synonymous with a single cuisine (wasabi, chutney, hoisin sauce), cumin takes center stage in foods from many countries: Mexican bean pots, Indian curries, my favorite Malaysian noodles, and good old American barbecue sauce.
Cumin is the seed of an herbaceous annual in the parsley family, native to only one place — the Nile River Valley in Egypt — though it's long been cultivated in India, China, North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, and the Americas. I keep both whole seed and ground cumin in my pantry. Ground cumin should be stored in an airtight container, or in the freezer, to retain its potency. My original ingredient post about cumin will tell you more.
Fasten your seatbelts for this mini world tour, courtesy of some of my favorite recipes that call for cumin:
I fell in love with these cumin-scented chickpea falafel when I visited Israel as a young girl, and I had no idea how easy it is to make them at home.
Next stop, India, for a bowl of aloo gobi (spiced cauliflower and potatoes) made easy in the slow cooker.
Quick and easy skillet black beans and rice, from Mexico, wouldn't be the same without cumin.
Visit the Mediterranean with each bite of this roasted eggplant spread with garlic, pepper and onions.
Last stop, Cuba, for this slow cooker Cuban-style ropa vieja, which makes a perfect filling for tortillas.
What's your favorite recipe to make with cumin?