Cumin plays an elemental role in our kitchen. From recipes handed down by my husband’s Lebanese grandmother, to our shared mutual love of Mexican and Southwestern food from our days spent in the hospitality industry. Cumin is unequivocally our favorite spice.
South India has made me a believer in many things, not the least of which is the importance of freshly roasted and ground spices. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to buy masalas off of the shelves of a supermarket again and I’ll certainly always roast and grind my own cumin from here forward. I was delighted to find that cumin plays an important role in South Indian cooking as well and now graces our Chennai cabinets in both seed and freshly roasted and ground forms. It’s smokey aroma fills my kitchen with possibility and my stomach with a hunger for it’s bitter, woodsy taste, much like the aroma of coffee.
Mrs. Rita introduced me to cumin coffee one day citing it’s natural ability to ease stomach pain, nausea (which as you might guess, we are no strangers to living in India) but it is also a safe and natural way to ease morning sickness for all you mamas-to-be.
Cumin coffee is easy to make and has a slightly bitter taste, like coffee, that is balanced perfectly with a little bit of milk and a dab of sugar. The perfect accompaniment to a morning samosa and a local favorite, crispy Madras snack mix.