Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30-50 cm (1-2 ft) tall and is harvested by hand.
The flavour of cumin plays a major role in the Latin American, especially in the Northern Mexican, Cuban but also in Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, Moroccan, Afghan, Indian cuisines. Cumin is a critical ingredient of chili powder.
Confusion with other spices
Cumin is hotter to the taste, lighter in colour, and larger than caraway (Carum carvi), another umbelliferous spice that is sometimes confused with it.