Umin is one such spice that forms an integral part of various dishes in the Indian cuisine. Cumin or "jeera" (Hindi) is basically a tiny seed of an annual plant in the parsley family, native to the Mediterranean (1). A typical cumin seed has a striped pattern of nine ridges and oil canals. It is brownish in colour and oblong shaped, tapering at each extremity with tiny stalks attached. Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds in appearance. However, they are lighter in colour, hotter to taste, larger in size and unlike caraway, have minute bristles that are hardly visible to the naked eye.