Cumin, with it's earthy savoriness and that brightness at the end is a spice that is great as it is, but becomes transformed with a quick roasting. See how you can make roasted cumin powder or bhunna zeera powder in 5 minutes!
Cumin Powder is a core spice for Pakistani and Indian cooking. It is also commonly used in Middle Eastern, and Mexican cuisine. It's a versatile spice that can be used to add depth and flavor to a wide variety of dishes, depending on how it's used.
Do I need to make Roasted Zeera Powder?
For the longest time I put making bhunna zeera powder in the category of things that I definitely don't have time to do. However, just like with garam masala, once I made it I realized it was one of those things that is 100% the effort. Here is why
- roasting brings out the natural oils in the seeds, making the flavour robust, and more fresh tasting
- roasted cumin powder added into a dish gives it an incredible depth that regular cumin powder does not have
- it's quick to make!
Where does Cumin come from?
Cumin seeds actually come from the fruit of a herb plant called Cuminum cyminum. The plant produces these pretty little flowers and the seeds are harvested by hand after.
So cool, right? If you want to know more about how other spices are grown scroll down to the chart in my garam masala post!
5-Minute Roasted Cumin Powder:
Step One: Take a clean dry pan and put it on high heat.
Step Two: Go grab your cumin seeds and a spice grinder or mini blender.
Step Three: Add your cumin seeds to the pan, stirring frequently to ensure even browning and once they look and smell toasty (you will know) then transfer them to a plate to cool.
With my pan and stove combo this step takes 2-3 minutes and then I let it cool spread out for 1.
Step Four: Grind to desired consistency. Smell it, and know you've done a great thing.
Storing Cumin Powder
Like many spices roasted zeera or jeera powder is at it's freshest within 3 months of use, which is why I usually make a small batch. However, you can easily store it in a dark and dry place like a cabinet for up to 6 months. Just keep it away from direct sunlight.
What can I use it for?
Apart from the obvious in your recipes instead of cumin powder, here are some common ways I use roasted cumin powder in my kitchen.
- in raita - a little chilli powder + salt + garlic paste + roasted cumin powder= chefs kiss
- sprinkled over avocados with lime juice, salt, and chili powder
- mixed with chilli flakes, a little ajwain, and roasted coriander powder for a special dahi baray masala
- in a rub for chicken breasts for sandwiches and wraps
- in your pudina raita
Interested in more kitchen basics?
Check out these!
Roasted Cumin Powder
- 1 skillet or griddle pan
- a mini blender (or mortar and pestle)
- ½ cup cumin seeds
- Put your skillet on high heat while you grab your seeds and blender
- Add the seeds, sauteing frequently until they change colour, you will both smell and see the change. This takes 2-3 minutes.
- Spread the seeds out on a plate to cool. When they are no longer hot add them to a spice grinder or a mini blender and grind to a powder.
- Store in a dry place, away from direct sunlight for up to 6 months.