Cumin is a dusky, aromatic Middle Eastern spice with a strong, distinctive flavor. It is sold ground or as whole, small, crescent-shaped seeds.
To toast cumin seeds:
Place the seeds in a small, dry, heavy frying pan over moderate heat and stir until they are aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Cool slightly before using.For other spices, see allspice, aniseeds, caraway, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chili powder, Chinese five-spice powder, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, curry powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, ginger, juniper berries, mace, nutmeg, paprika, pepper, peppercorns, saffron, Sichuan pepper, star anise, sumac, and turmeric.