Jeera: All About This Quintessential Spice
Image Credit: Image: Jeera, a spice that we cannot do without

What comes to your mind when you think of a spice that you just cannot do without? Are you also thinking about what I am? Yes, we are talking about jeera or cumin. If I cook like ten dishes in day, I would be using jeera in eight of them. A dish just seems incomplete without jeera as not it brings up an aroma to the dish but also makes it look more likely and tempting. Not only just in Indian cuisine but also in Latin dishes and Middle Eastern cuisine. This is enough to prove that cumin knows no borders. 

These small seeds are packed with flavour which can complement almost every dish it is used in. From curries to rice, to cheeses to sauces, cumin is a staple because of many reasons. Talking about its flavour, cumin has a warm and earthy taste with a bittersweet aroma and light citrus overtones. It is also said to have some similarities with its expensive counterpart i.e., black pepper. These are pale and tan-green coloured seeds with an oblong shape. Some mistake cumin seeds as caraway seeds because of their strong resemblance but cumin seeds are lighter in colour and covered with fine bristles.

Let us dig back to the history of this quintessential spice. In early times, cumin was used in home remedies and associated with superstitions. It was made popular was Greeks and Romans and was hardly used in Indian cooking. Though it lost prominence in Europe and Britain, it maintained to hold its position in North Africa, India, and the Middle East. Especially in India, it is a spice used in ample dishes. Did you know India is the largest producer of cumin in the world?

I am aware of jeera’s potential and so are you! Though jeera is used in almost every Indian dish, we have brought for you a recipe of classic jeera aloo. It is a quintessential dish which can be made literally everyday with fresh paranthas and rotis. This blend of potatoes is the perfect dish if you want to have a so simple yet delicious dish. Wanna know how to make it at home quickly? Follow the steps below.


  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 green chilli (chopped)
  • 1 ginger (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/8 tsp hing
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds (star of the show)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • ¾ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 3 tsp water
  • Handful of coriander leaves


  • Boil potatoes until fork tender yet firm.
  • When done, cut them into cubes.
  • Heat a pan and add ghee.
  • Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add chopped green chilies and mix them well.
  • Add potato cubes and mix well.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and all other spices.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Saute it for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame.
  • Combine with coriander leaves