Learn all about how to make Roasted Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder) at home in under 15 minutes (vegan, gluten-free).
About Roasted Cumin Powder
Roasted Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder) is a spice powder prepared by roasting and grinding cumin seeds.
Also known as Cuminum Cyminum, cumin seeds, also called jeera in India, are obtained from a flowering plant ( member of the parsley family) that is majorly grown in India, North Africa, and the Middle East.
The seeds have a warm, earthy flavor with mildly bitter and sweet undertones, also reflected in their powdered form. This aromatic spice looks like caraway seeds but is boat-shaped and a bit longer than them.
It is a versatile spice used extensively in Indian dishes, along with chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder, and turmeric powder. It is also essential in Latin American and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Although jeera powder is made from cumin seeds, both taste different when added to a dish. Cumin seeds burst into flavor when one seed comes into your mouth, while the cumin powder mingles well with the base of the dish and becomes a part of the overall taste profile.
The shelf life of whole seeds is at least a year, while the ground form loses its potency in under a month.
I like to use roasted powder in my cooking as it is much more flavorful. By roasting the seeds, their bitter and sharp flavor is reduced, and the earthiness is enhanced. You can also store roasted cumin powder longer than the unroasted one.
Here are some more spice mix recipes
- Sambar Powder
- Kerala Garam Masala Powder
- Homemade Dry Mint Powder
- Bisi Bele Bath Powder
- Chaat Masala Powder
Why Make Cumin Powder at Home
- Making jeera powder at home is super easy. You need whole cumin seeds and a spice grinder.
- The homemade powder is much more flavorful than the store-bought one as it oxidizes and loses its flavor over time. When made at home, you can make a small batch and use it fresh.
- This popular spice is much more economical when made at home.
- The homemade version is free of any additives. You can be sure of the quality when you make it home.
How To Make Roasted Cumin Powder
You need whole cumin seeds to make roasted jeera powder. Try to get your hands on organic and NON-GMO seeds. These seeds are easily available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores or online.
Making roasted jeera powder is a two-step process.
- Roast the seeds until they are fragrant and browned.
- Grind to make a smooth powder.
Add 1 cup of cumin seed to a skillet.
Dry roast over medium-low heat until slightly browned and fragrant (5-6 minutes), stirring continuously.
Remove the skillet from heat and keep stirring the seeds for 1-2 minutes so that the seeds at the bottom of the skillet don’t get burned from the residual heat.
Let the seeds cool down completely.
Transfer the roasted seeds to a coffee grinder, a spice grinder, or a food processor and grind to make a fine powder. Scrap the sides of the jar while grinding a few times.
I like to make a small batch and use it in under a month as it tastes the best when made fresh. Having said that, you can store it for up to 2-3 months in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or refrigerate it for up to 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
This spice has a unique flavor; you must try not to substitute it with anything else.
It’s not a very expensive spice and is easily available in most grocery stores or online, so having some in your pantry will help. But just in case you are short of it, here is an article by The Spruce Eats that lists 6 substitutes you can use.
If you do not have a grinder, you can use a rolling pin to prepare the powder. In this case, the cumin seeds should be a little warm to break easily. Spread the warm roasted seeds on the counter and press them using the rolling pin going from up to down. Continue the process until you get a coarse powder.
You can also use a mortar and pestle to grind the roasted seeds coarsely.
I often sprinkle roasted jeera powder into my bowl of plain yogurt, and it instantly perks up its taste. Apart from plain yogurt, I also add it to my raita recipes like Boondi Raita, Pineapple Raita, or Spinach Raita.
Middle Eastern dishes like hummus also have it as an ingredient.
You can add ground cumin seed to your curries, dry sabji (stir-fries), or use it to flavor the stuffing of paratha. It can also be added to rice or pulao recipes.
It can also be added to the marinades for chicken, meat, seafood, etc.
Sprinkle some ground jeera powder on your sandwiches, rolls, and wraps.
You can make cumin tea using this powder. This tea is supposed to be very good for weight loss.
Other than the food, you can also use it in your face packs and add some to your hair oil for cosmetic benefits.
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Roasted Cumin Powder Recipe (Jeera Powder)
- Spice Grinder
- 1 cup cumin seeds (100 grams)
- Add cumin seed to a skillet.
- Dry roast over medium-low heat until they are slightly browned and very fragrant (5-6 minutes), stirring continuously.
- Remove the skillet from heat and keep stirring the seeds for 1-2 minutes so that the seeds at the bottom of the skillet don’t get burned from the residual heat.
- Let the seeds cool down completely.
- Transfer the roasted seeds to a coffee grinder, a spice grinder, or a food processor and grind to make a smooth powder. Scrap the sides of the jar while grinding a few times.
- Transfer the powder to an airtight jar and use as desired.
- I like to make a small batch and use it in under a month as it tastes the best when made fresh. Having said that, you can store it for up to 2-3 months in an airtight container in a cool and dry place or refrigerate it for up to 6 months.