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European Jeera or cumin seed is an oblong shaped, sharp flavored and dark colored aromatic spice that is placed second to pepper in the context of importance. It is actually the dried fruit of an annual, thin-stemmed cumin plant, which belongs to parsley family. The plant has a short height of 25-30 centimeters and has white to red
Jeera or cumin seed has a significant demand as a spice all around the globe especially in the places where spicy food is preferred. It is an integral part of the recipes in various cultures. After pepper, jeera is considered to be the most important spice in the world. Cumin in grounded form also forms part of various spicy mixtures, most important being ‘Garam masala’ (extensively used throughout south Asia), which are again used to add pungent flavors to the dishes and cuisines. It also has a number of medicinal uses and helps in curing many diseases.
India being the world leader in the context of spice production, it is also the largest producer of jeera in the world. Jeera is generally cultivated in the hot and humid climates that is aptly provided by the regions in North Africa, southern parts of the North American continent and Southern Asia. Regarding the consumption pattern of this spice, India again bags the first place. The most of the demand for cumin seeds comes from the food and food processing industry and the world’s total demand except India’s demand sum up to a mere 25 to 30 thousand tons. This shows the country’s dominance in the major jeera consuming countries.