Cumin is a key Indian spice and is very often used in Indian cuisine.
How do you make cumin seed powder? Homemade ground cumin powder is made by dry roasting whole cumin seeds, cooling them and then grinding in a spice grinder, blender or using a pestle and mortar.
Why make ground cumin powder at home? Making your own coriander powder and generally other spices freshly ground at home literally levels up the taste of your dishes.
It is a key differentiator in home cooking. Readymade ground spices are sitting on the shelf for some time and lose their flavor. According to Bon Appetit, “You shouldn’t keep ground spices for more than three months and whole spices for more than eight to ten.”
While, I’m definitely guilty of not following that timeline very strictly, I do regularly grind Indian spices and Indian spice blends in batches a few times a year.
Making this at home you can also ensure there are no added fillers are other additives.
In Hindi, cumin is jeera or zeera. So ground cumin seeds are jeera powder or zeera powder. Bhuna jeera powder means ground roasted cumin seeds.
Uses in Indian cooking
Roasted cumin powder is an essential spice in my masala dabba and used very often in Indian cooking. It is an ingredient in spice mixes such as garam masala powder and also used in salted lassis and many Indian dishes.
Very often it is kept as a spice blend with coriander powder (from whole coriander seeds), referred to as dhaniya jeera or dhanu jeeru. You can also find it in Indian grocery stores in this spice blend form.
Taste profile: mild, earthy flavour, hints of sweet and bitter
In my pantry I keep both ground and whole cumin because they each serve different purposes/ are used differently. Whole cumin seeds, for example, are added to hot oil for tempering or tadka in many dishes.
How to Make Cumin Powder
The short: Dry roast and grind
First, place a heavy bottomed pan on low-medium heat.
Then, add the whole coriander seeds to the pan. Toast the spice for 4-5 minutes, mixing intermittently.
You don’t want to let them sit for too long as they can burn easily.
Once you start to see the seeds begin to darken a bit and smell an earthy aroma, the seeds are ready!
Let them cool completely to room temperature. Then, you can grind the seeds into a fine powder using a variety of options:
- Spice grinder
- Coffee grinder
- Mortar & pestle
- Nutribullet ( I have used it!)
Your freshly homemade ground coriander spice powder is ready!
Store cumin powder in an airtight container for up to three months and store in a cool dry place. I like to operate on a quarterly basis and make small batches to last me at least 3 months and then I will grind a fresh batch.
Where can I find this in stores?
Both whole seeds and ground powder are found very easily and at good prices in Indian grocery stores worldwide. You can also find it available online.
Cumin is a popular spice used in many cuisines such as Middle Eastern cuisine, Mexican, Latin American and North African and you can even find it in the spice aisle of your local non-Indian grocery stores.
What are the benefits of coriander?
According to Healthline, some benefits of cumin promoting digestion, improving cholesterol and aiding in weight loss.
My Mom uses it to make a simple cumin powder water recipe that I drink daily.
Should coriander be roasted before grinding?
Roasting the cumin seeds prior to grinding releases oils to make the powder taste more complex and flavorful. It also removes any moisture which allows a longer shelf life.
Others may prefer to just grind the seeds to make powder. The powder will be cooked during the cooking process, so it is not necessary.
10 Minute Roasted Cumin Powder Recipe (Bhuna Jeera Powder)
- 1 pan
- 1 spice grinder, coffee grinder, mortar & pestle I used a Nutribullet
- ¼ cup cumin seeds 16g
- Toast on low-medium 4-5 minutes until fragrant and just beginning to darken. Stir continuously as they can burn quick.
- Let cool and grind.
- Cumin powder is ready.