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Small, slender annual herb (Cuminum cyminum) of the carrot family (Apiaceae). It is cultivated in the Mediterranean region, India, China, and Mexico. Its seeds, which are actually dried fruits, are used in many spice mixtures such as chili and curry powders. Cumin is especially popular in Asian, North African, and Latin American cuisines. Its oil is used in perfumes, for flavouring liquors, and for medicinal purposes.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cumin, visit Britannica.com.