An herbaceous native of the Mediterranean known as cumin is presented before us on this sunny Sunday day , and that many of you will know.
We are going to tell you some things about this plant widely used in Indian cuisine for making curries, as well as other exotic and not-so-exotic cuisines, since in Spain it is widely used in some areas.
Can we see how it is grown?
CUMIN, A TYPICAL MEDITERRANEAN SPICE
As we are starting, we are going to talk a little about this herbaceous and describe the plant.
The cumin , scientifically known as Cuminum cyminum , belongs to the family Apiaceae , a group in which are included both herbaceous and shrubs and previously were known as Umbelliferae.
To this day, that name is still used with higher priority than Apiaceae.
CLIMATIC NEEDS IN THE CULTIVATION OF CUMIN
Cumin grows in warm and temperate climates, typical of the Mediterranean climate , with great sun exposure.
The latter is an important factor, since we have to make sure that there are no shady areas when we plant cumin.
As for temperatures, it supports a wide range of heat and cold.
Regarding the latter, it supports sub-zero temperatures and is quite resistant to frost .
Regarding the characteristics of the soil and the pH range where cumin grows, the environments where it usually grows without problems are limestone, with a basic pH, very typical of the Mediterranean area.
The structure of the soil is not very important since it develops without problems in sandy, loamy or clay soils, that is, whether they are light soils such as typical sandy ones, or something heavier, characteristic of clay soils.
However, it is important that they have good drainage ( remember how to improve the drainage of a soil ) and are fertile (either by their own nature or because we fertilize it with manure or compost periodically).
IRRIGATION AND FERTILIZATION OF CUMIN
It is a fairly rustic herbaceous plant and supports spaced and not very abundant waterings . In summer we must emphasize the risks given the high temperatures that are obtained and that the cumin grows with full sun exposure.
In terms of the subscriber, it is not very demanding either, but it is convenient that at the beginning of the plantation it has a base of peat or manure mixed with the earth , being important that it is well decomposed.
REPRODUCTION AND MULTIPLICATION
As you can see the main photo of this article, those are the seeds of this herbaceous that interest us so much as a spice, and to, when the time comes, use them to plant again and obtain new generations of cumin plants.
Cumin seeds can be planted in spring , more or less in April, away from late frosts, burying them 1 cm deep. It is important that the area where it is grown is sunny and protected from the wind.
The collection will take place several months later and will coincide with the end of the summer.
SOME MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF CUMIN
When tasting cumin, it has a great intensity of flavor , a very aromatic mix between bitter and sweet due to the large amount of essential oils it contains. It is these oils that harbor various medicinal properties, such as the following:
- P carminative roperties: favors the expulsion of gases.
- Sedative properties: similar to those of anise, fennel or caraway.
- Diuretic and anthelmintic properties: favors the elimination of liquids
- Galactogenic properties: stimulates the production of breast milk).
- Hypoglycemic properties: antidiabetic potential.
TYPICAL DISHES WITH THIS SPICE
As we have mentioned before, in Indian cuisine and in other countries that use exotic ingredients, cumin is present in most dishes.
But we don’t have to go far from Spain to see that cumin is also used in Mediterranean dishes, such as Canarian mojo picón . The blood sausage from Aranda (variety of the black pudding from Burgos) has cumin among its ingredients.
It is a spice that would be in the second grade (considering that the first would be more popular spices such as pepper, oregano, basil , thyme , etc.).
However and depending on the dishes that are made and the tastes that are had, it is used a lot, so it will not hurt to have a small area of our garden dedicated to cumin, helping to combat pests and diseases of vegetables and greens.