cumin or cummin (both: kŭmˈĭn) [key], low annual herb ( Cuminum cyminum ) of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), long cultivated in the Old World for the aromatic seedlike fruits. The fruits resemble the related caraway and are similarly used in cooking. Cumin is an ingredient of curry powder; the oil is used for liqueurs and in veterinary practice and was formerly used in medicine. Cumin is mentioned in the Bible. For black cumin, see love-in-a-mist. Cumin is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Umbellales, family Umbelliferae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on cumin from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants