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Cumin

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Ground cumin and cumin seed

Ground cumin and cumin seed.

Linda Lewis / Getty Images

Cumin (pronounced "KYOO-min") is a spice made from the dried seed of a plant known as Cuminum cyminum. A member of the parsley family, cumin is used in Mexican, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, among many others.

Cumin is a typical ingredient in chili powder. Cumin is also often found in other spice blends such as garam masala and curry powder.

Cumin can be used in its whole seed form as well as ground. Cumin has a warm, earthy flavor and aroma. Ground cumin is often added to chili, barbecue sauce, baked beans and marinades.

The most common variety of cumin is a brownish-yellow color, although you can also sometimes find black cumin and white cumin.

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