Toasting whole cumin seeds is easy, and it's a great way to add a kick of flavor (and a bit of crunch) to dishes. The earthy, rich, slightly smoky flavor of toasted cumin seeds is great sprinkled on almost any dish that contains ground cumin, and a tasty way to add a teeny bit of crunch to salads or soups.
Whole cumin seeds are widely available in the spice aisle of well-stocked grocery stores, and toasting them at home, as you'll see below, is incredibly straight-forward and easy.
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Remove the Cumin Seeds From the Pan
As soon as the seeds are toasted, transfer them to a bowl or mortar and pestle, so they cool quickly and stop cooking.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Crush the Cumin Seeds
You can use the toasted cumin seeds whole, or you can bring out even more flavor by crushing them slightly in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, put the cooled cumin seeds in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan.
You can also make your toasted ground cumin by whirling the toasted cumin seeds in a clean scrupulously clean coffee grinder (wipe out any coffee grounds, grind 1/4 cup of rice, discard, and wipe clean before grinding spices) or spice grinder.
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Voila! Crushed & Toasted Cumin Seeds
Lightly crushed, toasted cumin seeds can be used to garnish soups and salads, or sprinkled on pretty much any dish that contains ground cumin.
We particularly like toasted cumin seeds on this fattoush salad, sprinkled into beet & cabbage borscht, or garnished atop guacamole. They're also lovely added to quesadillas, tacos, salads of all sorts, and earthy soups.
Pair cumin with mushrooms, beets, greens, and potatoes in particular. A sprinkle of toasted cumin seeds is lovely on a potato gratin, for example.