Ground cumin, which is cumin seeds made in powder form, can be used as a substitute for cumin seed in a recipe. Cumin offers a slightly bitter and nutty taste.
The shelf life of cumin seeds is longer than that of ground cumin. Cumin seeds can be safely stored for 12 months in a cool location whereas ground cumin should be kept for 6 months.
Cumin seed is often used in flavoring Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. The seeds are oblong and yellowish-brown in color.
Cumin seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, including iron. The seeds are also believed to offer health benefits and aid in digestion.