In my opinion, I find that cumin is one of the most aromatic spices on the planet with its earthy, pungent aroma and hints of sweet, lemony-pine scent. The seeds have a strong and slightly bitter flavor, but when they are toasted in hot oil or a dry pan, the bitterness and strong pungency gives way to a smooth nutty flavor. No wonder it is one of the most widely used spices, especially when creating curry dishes or for making hummus.
The black cumin,also called kala jeera, is a relative of the brown cumin, but produces much smaller seeds that are thinner and less pungent. Actually, they are just a darker version of the brown cumin seeds, yet the difference between the two is not only the color but in the flavor as well. The black seeds are more reminiscent of fennel with a sweeter lemony caraway flavor. Continue reading