Cumin plant bears small, gray-yellow color, oblong shaped seeds with vertical ridges on their outer surface; that closely resembles caraway seeds in appearance. The distinctive flavor, strong and warm sense of cumin seeds on taste buds comes from a certain group of essential oils in them.
It is widely used as a spice and principally employed in cooking as a condiment and flavoring base. Its seeds have been in use since ancient times in the preparation of many popular dishes. Along with other spicy items, it is being used as flavoring agent in chicken, fish, and meat dishes. The seeds are also been used in the preparation of soups, barbecue sauces, pickling and as one of the ingredients in variety of curry powders.
Cumin seeds contain numerous phyto-chemicals that are known to have antioxidant, carminative and anti-flatulent properties. The seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber The active principles in the cumin may augment the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract as well as aids in the digestion power by increasing gut enzyme secretions.