Cumin is a versatile spice that adds a warm and earthy flavor to a wide range of dishes. It definitely ‘must’ go into many Indian, African, Mexican, and Mediterranean dishes.

It is an integral part of my cooking and in my “masala dabba.” However, it can be overpowering in dishes if used too liberally. Usually, a small amount goes a long way.

Cumin is also a part of many spice blends, such as garam masala, taco seasoning, and chili powder (American blend).

Cumin seeds are used and also ground cumin powder. Some recipes call for roasted cumin powder. Here are more details about how to make cumin powder. And if you are out of this spice, check out substitutes for cumin.

Here are some delicious recipes that make excellent use of cumin:

Roasted cumin powder in a glass jar
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Cumin is a fundamental spice in many curry recipes. It pairs wonderfully with coriander, turmeric, and other spices to create the complex and aromatic flavors found in Indian, Thai, and Middle Eastern curries.

coconut chickpea curry

Mexican Dishes

Ground cumin is a must-have spice for taco seasoning and many Mexican dishes. It elevates the flavor of meat, beans, dips, or vegetables, infusing them with a smoky and slightly nutty taste.

Healthy Vegetarian Mexican Rice & Bean Casserole is easy to make and filled with cheesy goodness, along with brown rice and lots of veggies. This is an easy gluten free & vegetarian casserole for a weeknight dinner or your next party!


When making homemade hummus or tahini sauce, a pinch of cumin can take it to the next level. It adds depth to the creamy blend of chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and garlic.

It is used in popular Indian dips, such as the mint cilantro chutney and tamarind chutney. It goes great in cranberry chutney and apricot chutney.

creamy Instant Pot chickpea hummus in a plate

Meats & Fish

Cumin works as an excellent rub for grilled meats, such as chicken, lamb, or beef. Combine it with other spices, like paprika and chili powder, for a flavorful and aromatic seasoning.

Tandoor chicken wings served with lime wedges

Roasted Vegetables

Tossing vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower with cumin, olive oil, and a touch of salt before roasting can create a delectable side dish bursting with flavor.

Spicy bombay potatoes in a brown bowl

Rice and Pilafs

Cumin-infused rice or pilafs are popular in many cuisines. Simply toast cumin seeds in hot oil or butter before adding rice and liquid for a fragrant and tasty side dish.

Jeera rice in a black bowl

Soup, Stews, & Lentils

Cumin enhances the taste of soups and stews, such as lentil soup or Moroccan tagines. It contributes a warm and comforting flavor that pairs beautifully with other ingredients.

Roasted pumpkin soup in a rusty soup bowl topped with cream and pumpkin seeds

Condiments & Beverages

Dahi Vada in a large platter

Whether you’re preparing Mexican, Indian, or Middle Eastern dishes, cumin is an essential spice that can enhance your dishes, making them more aromatic and flavorful. Experiment with these recipes to explore the versatile and delightful spice “Cumin.”

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About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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