Toasted cumin seeds add wonderful flavor to chili, cornbread, soup, lentils, rice, dal, scrambled eggs, cold salads and more. Simple to make, its great to make a about a half cup sized-batch at a time, and to store the leftover ground spice in a little jar in the fridge, where it will stay fresh.
Pan-toast the cumin seeds by putting several heaping tablespoons (or more, depending on the size of your pan!) of whole cumin seeds in dry skillet on medium-low heat.
Stir or flip the seeds carefully, off and on for about 5-7 minutes, until they start to show a little sign of color, and are getting really aromatic. I don’t recommend leaving the kitchen while they are toasting, unless you have super-amazing multi-tasking skills. You don’t want the cumin to smoke or burn, and it can happen quickly if you’re not paying attention!
Remove toasted seeds from pan and let cool completely, before grinding them in a spice grinder. Coffee grinders reserved for processing herbs and spices work well for this type of job. I found a used one that I keep around just for spices, so I don’t adulterate my precious coffee beans!
Use toasted ground cumin immediately in your favorite dishes, and store the remaining spice in a little jelly jar in the fridge, for later use.