What are Cumin Seeds?

Botanical Name   :  Cuminum cyminum L.

Family                     :  Apiaceae

Commercial Part  :  Fruit  


Cumin is the dried, white fruit with the greyish brown colour of a small slender annual herb. The surface of the fruit has 5 primary ridges, alternatively has 4 less distinct secondary ridges bearing numerous short hairs.

The plant is 15 to 50 cm high. The aromatic seed like fruit is elongated, ovoid, 3 to 6 mm long, slightly bitter and has a warm flavour. The flowers are white or rose coloured in small umbels.


Cumin seed has an aromatic odour and bitter taste. It is used as a condiment and is an ingredient in curry powders, seasonings of bread, cakes and cheese. It is employed in native dishes of Central and South America.

In medicine, it is used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic and astringent. Cumin seed oil is used in perfumery and for flavouring liqueurs and cordials.


Hindi            : Jira, Jeera, Zira or Safaid jeera Or Zeera

Bengali        : Safaid Jira or Zeera

Gujarati        : Jiru or Jeera

Kannada       : Jeeriege

Kashmiri       : Zyur

Malayalam    : Jeerakam

Marathi         : Jeregire

Oriya             : Jira, Jeera

Sanskrit        : Jiraka, Jira

Tamil             : Ziragum or Jeeragam

Telugu           : Jidakara, Jikaka


Spanish         : Comino

French           : Cumin

German         : Romischer Kummel

Swedish        : Spiskummin

Arabic            : Kammun

Dutch             : Komijn

Italian             : Comino

Portuguese    : Cominho

Russian          : Kmin

Chinese          : Machin