We source our cumin from the most western part of China from the XinJiang Autonomous Region. It is complex, musky with loads of taste and turns aromatic and nutty when toasted.
In China cumin is strongly linked with the Uyghur cuisine that has gained massive popularity with its incredibly delicious lamb and skewered bbq. From Xinjiang province, cumin spread to other regions of China like Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi as well as Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Dongbei in the north. It is now a staple in their regional cuisines with hand-pulled lamb noodles being one of our absolute favorites. It is one of those tastes that is really mashing Chinese cuisine together and shows how versatile this spice is.
Some people just love Cumin and we are just those people. The ancient greek used it as a table spice, much like we use black pepper today, and we can see why. It is such an enhancer of deep taste. The musky, nutty almost umami-like flavor goes well to many things and should be used to much more than we think. The trick, like always, is balancing. It can easily take over a dish or spice blend, especially this variety from XinJiang.
Pair with: Lamb, oven-roasted vegetables, Sichuan pepper, lentils, aubergine, beetroot, hummus, beef rendang, Mexican mole, yogurt, avocado, duck, carrot