From the producer:
Our wild cumin is hand-picked by foragers in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. They are tiny, oblong and black with long stems. Botanically distinct from common cumin (Cuminum cyminum), our wild mountain cumin is renowned in Afghanistan and throughout central and south Asia for its delicious flavor as well as its medicinal properties. It has a savory, penetrating aroma and bright, umami flavor evocative of grilled meats and sweet caramelized onions.
Origin: Badakhshan, Afghanistan
Aliases: black cumin, Persian cumin, kala jeera
Ingredients: 100% whole wild cumin (Bunium persicum)
Tasting notes: Grilled Onion • Dried Apricots • Mountain Air
Cumin seeds may not be on the Ottolenghi “essentials” ingredients list, but this earthy spice is one of the most used ingredients in the book. Use it to spice up everything from Fish Cake Tacos with Mango, Lime, and Cumin Yogurt to (p. 254) to Mustardy Cauliflower Cheese (p. 92).
Melissa Clark uses cumin seeds frequently in her recipes. Use them in the Spicy Stir-Fried Cumin Lamb (p. 78) or the Carrot Muhammara with Toasted Cumin and Walnuts (p. 355). These two recipes make use of both whole and ground cumin, offering a double dose of the earthy spice with the crunchy texture of the whole cumin seeds.
Turshen will walk you through toasting a medley of spices (including cumin seeds) in her recipe for Curried Red Lentils with Coconut Milk (p. 136). The seeds are also used in Pseudo-Indian Eggplant Dip (p. 123) and Homemade Merguez with Herby Yogurt (p. 164).