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Cumin refers to the boat shaped and ridged, dried seeds of the plant Cuminum cyminum. It is about 3 – 6 mm long with ridges along its length and varies from bright grey to dark ash in colour. Like coriander, the plant also belongs to the Umbelliferae family and is bushy in nature.

Cumin traces its history back to medieval period when it was very popular across the world, especially Mexican, Portuguese, Mediterranean, Eastern and Indian regions where it was primarily used in the preparation of highly spicy culinary preparations. As with most other spices, Cumin as well is attributed with medicinal properties besides its characteristics as a seed spice. Cumin is known to have stomachic, diuretic, carminative, antispasmodic properties besides being a stimulant and an astringent. Cumin, across the globe, is most commonly used is the powdered form, straight or blended with other spices in curry powders.

Cumin in India

India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of Cumin in the world. Gujarat invariably leads the production in the country with over 80% of the Indian produce coming from the state. Indian Cumin is undoubtedly of far superior quality than competing global suppliers like Iran, Turkey and Syria owing to higher Volatile Oil content and bolder size of the seeds. India, on an average, produces around 110000 MT of Cumin per annum of which around 13% – 14% is exported to various parts of the world.

Cumin @ ITC

ITC Spices' supply chain team takes utmost care in sourcing the best quality cumin seeds directly from the heart of the production zone in Gujarat and is cleaned and processed using the best machines to provide the customer with impeccably clean final product. The quality of Cumin is primarily adjudged by the size of the seeds, colour of the seeds, flavour and foreign matter content.

The following grades of Indian Cumin are available under our Spices umbrella:


Seed Size

Foreign Matter Content

Europe Quality

Uniform, bold seeded

Less than 1%

Singapore Quality

Small to medium size

2% – 3 %