What is Jeera or Cumin Seed. Find out about it and its benefits.
Cumin sometimes spelled as cummin also known as Jeera or Jira is a flowering plant native from the east Mediterranean to India.
The seeds are used in the Indian Cuisine. The Seeds are used as whole or in powdered form.
It has medicinal uses and helps in digestion, common Anemia and common cold.
There are two varieties which are used in Indian Cooking
- Common Variety ( called White Jeera)
- Shahjeera ( black Jeera) – the seeds are thinner and smaller.
Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive flavour and aroma.
It is used in Powdered form in many recipes. In some recipes like Yellow Dal, Jeera Rice it is used in the whole seeds.
In Sanskrit, Cumin is known as Jira. Jira means “that which helps digestion”. In Ayurvedic system of medicine, dried Cumin seeds are used for medicinal purposes. The dried cumin seeds are powdered and used in different forms like kashaya (decoction), arishta (fermented decoction), vati(tablet/pills), and processed with ghee (a semi-fluid clarified butter). It is used internally and sometimes for external application also. It is known for its actions like enhancing appetite, taste perception, digestion, vision, strength, and lactation. It is used to treat diseases like fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal distension, edema and puerperal disorders.
A popular drink in southern India such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu is called jira water, made by boiling cumin seeds in water. It is believed that cumin is beneficial for heart disease, swellings, tastelessness, vomiting, poor digestion and chronic fever.
In a study contducted it has been reported that Jeera hs many pharmacological effects such as anti-diabetic, immunologic, anti-epileptic, anti-tumour and antimicrobial activities. A study by researchers at Mysore University in India reports the potential anti-diabetic properties of cumin.
According to the USDA, one tablespoon of cumin spice contains
- 22 kcal (92 kJ) of food energy,
- 1.34 g (0.047 oz) of fat,
- 2.63 g (0.093 oz) of carbohydrates,
- 0.6 g (0.021 oz) of fibre and
- 1.07 g (0.038 oz) of protein.
Tip:You can also dry fry it and crush it lightly and keep it in a jar.
Sprinkle over plain yoghurt.