Cumin is a spice originating from the Middle East. Traces of its use as a medicinal plant have been found among the Egyptians over 5,000 years ago. The cultivation of cumin then spread all around the Mediterranean basin, then the Indian Ocean. In the Middle Ages, cumin was a very rare spice mainly used by high society. Some merchants used it as a bargaining chip in business transactions at major European fairs. At that time, it was also believed to have spiritual virtues, and keeping a small bag of cumin on you could protect you from witches and the evil eye.
Sambavanilla cumin comes from the South of Madagascar and more particularly from the Tulear region where it is cultivated on rich and not very humid soils.
Use of cumin:
Sambavanilla cumin offers a whole range of hot and fragrant flavors with peppery nuances with a little bitterness and some herbal notes.
Cumin is the essential spice that goes into making curry and the famous Garam Masala. It is mainly used in meat dishes and in Madagascar it is often found in dishes simmered in coconut milk. Cumin is also used for the preparation of desserts in the Orient, but also in the Indian Ocean with, for example, plantain fritters.
Medicinal properties of cumin:
Cumin is particularly rich in antioxidants and known to be quite good for digestion. It stimulates the gallbladder and the pancreas to secrete enzymes and bile that break down food into nutrients that your body can use. Cumin also helps detoxify the body and is very effective for respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
Cumin helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, which means it is ideal for diabetics or pre-diabetics, this means less chance of gaining weight and excess body fat. Cumin has been proven to work as well as certain common diabetes medications, by regulating insulin and glycogen. Cumin is also a very good source of iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, and beneficial for the immune system.
To enhance the scent of cumin, think about roasting the seeds for a minute in the pan. Then mash with a pestle before incorporating them into your dishes, preferably at the start of cooking.