Cumin / Cuminum cyminum is also called Jeera, Zeera, Jilakarra, Jeergam, Jeerige, Jeerakam, Jire, Zyur, Jira, Zira, Safaid jeera, Jiru, Jeregire, Jiraka, Ziragum, Jeergam, Jidakara, Jikaka, Jeerae etc. Cumin belongs to the Apiaceae family. Jeera is a herbaceous plant that is used for flavoring in Indian cuisine and as a cure for digestion. It can be eaten raw or roasted and used in dishes as a seasoning or even powdered and used as a spice/masala for most Indian cooking purposes. Cumin is the second most popular spice next to black pepper.
Cumin is the dried, white fruit with the grayish-brown color of a small, slender annual herb. The surface of the fruit has 5 primary ridges and 4 less distinct secondary ridges bearing numerous short hairs. The plant is usually about 15 – 50 cm high. The aromatic seed-like fruit is elongated, ovoid, 3 – 6 mm long, slightly bitter and has a warm flavor. The flowers are white or rose-colored in small umbels. Cumin has a short vegetative season. Cumin has anti-tumor properties. India is the largest manufacturer and consumer of cumin.
The flavor of Jeera is due to the presence of a volatile oil. Cumin seeds are used in Ayurvedic medicines as well. It provides great relief for people suffering from digestion issues, especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is useful for conditions such as obesity, stomach aches, dyspepsia etc. In India, Jeera is grown in the states of Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan. The common commercial varieties of Jeera grown in India are RZ-19, GC-1, and RZ-209. The RZ-19 variety produces 6 quintals/ha of Jeera, the GC-1 variety produces 7 quintals/ha Jeera and the RZ-209 also produce 7 quintals/ha of Jeera. All these varieties have pink flowers as compared to the normal white flowers.
Cumin seeds have an aromatic odor and bitter taste. It is used as a condiment and is an ingredient in curry powders, seasonings of bread, cakes and cheese. In medicine, it is used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic and astringent. Cumin seed oil is used in perfumery and for flavoring liqueurs and cordials. It is used in the treatment of piles, asthma, insomnia, skin disorders, respiratory disorders, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, boils and cancer. Hence it is in great demand and extremely popular. It is a sub-tropical crop and grows well in moderate dry and cool climates. It requires loamy soils for good yield and is normally propagated by seeds. Its stem is slender and branched and about a foot in height. The leaves are divided into long, narrow segments like Fennel, but much smaller and are deep green colored. The upper leaves are nearly stalking less, but the lower ones have longer leaf stalks. The flowers are small, rose-colored or white, in stalked umbels with only 4 – 6 rays, each of which is only about 1/3 inch long, and bloom in June – July. They are oblong in shape, thicker in the middle, compressed laterally about 5 inches long. The odor and taste are somewhat like caraway, but less agreeable.
Image source – farmer.gov.in
Image source – livemint.com
Image source – panoramio.com
Process of growing Cumin
⦁ Climatic conditions
Cumin requires moderate dry and cooler climate to grow well. It does not favor heavy rainfall. It is a sub-tropical crop favoring a temperature range of 25 – 30 °C. In India, cumin seed is a Rabi crop sown in October – November or November – December and harvested in February. A hot climate is preferred, but it can be grown in cooler regions if started under glass in spring. Cumin is susceptible to frost and gets fungus in humid climates. It grows well where wheat is grown.
⦁ Seed rate, spacing, soil type, land preparation and irrigation
Cumin cultivates in loamy soils with good drainage and adequate amounts of organic matter. For commercial purposes, see that the field has not been used for the past 3 – 4 years. Test the soil before cultivation. Cumin is propagated through seeds and about 12 – 16 kg cumin seeds/ha is used for this purpose. The seeds are sown by the broadcasting method and line sowing methods. Seeds are usually sown 10 cm deep in the pits. The soil should have a pH range of 6.0 – 7.0.
Apply about 12 – 15 tons of FYM at the time of soil preparation. Afterwards, a dose of 20 kg of P2O5/ha should be applied at the time of sowing, 30 kg N/ha may be applied as top P2O5 dressing either in single dose 30 days after sowing or in 2 equal splits.
A light irrigation is done soon after sowing and after that second irrigation should be applied 8 – 10 days later. Depending upon the soil type and climatic conditions the subsequent irrigations may be given at 15 – 25 days intervals. Last heavy irrigation must be given at the time of seed formation. Avoid irrigation at the time of active seed filling because it increases the incidence of powdery mildew, blight and aphid infestation.
⦁ Weed management and pest control
Weed is a severe problem in cumin cultivation. Weeding @ 30 – 60 days after sowing is necessary. Thinning should also be done during first hoeing and weeding to remove the excess plants.
Chemical weed control by the application of herbicides may also be practiced. Application of pre-emergent Terbutryn or Oxcadiazone @ 0.5 – 1.0kg/ha or pre-plant Fluchloralin / pre-emergent Penimethalin @ 1.0kg/ha is very effective.
The field is cleaned and wilt affected plants are uprooted before harvesting. Harvesting is done by cutting the plants with a sickle. The plants are stacked on the clean threshing floor for sun-drying. After drying, seeds are separated by light beating with sticks by winnowing. An average yield of 5 q/ha is obtained under proper management. Improved varieties may yield up to 7 – 8 Q/ha. Fresh seeds are sun-dried and then cleaned using gravity separators.
Clean seeds are sorted and graded and then filled in sterilized gunny bags and stored in damp-free aerated stores. Jeera has an amazing shelf and can be stored at room temperature. It can be roasted and powdered and stored as well for use as Jeera powder. It is also readily available in markets as plain jeera or jeera powder.
⦁ Benefits of cumin
⦁ It is used as a flavoring in most dishes and has many health benefits
⦁ It provides great relief for people suffering from digestion issues, especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
⦁ It is useful for conditions such as obesity, stomach aches, dyspepsia etc.
⦁ In medicine, it is used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic and astringent.
⦁ Cumin seed oil is used in perfumery and for flavoring liqueurs and cordials. I
⦁ Cumin is used in the treatment of piles, asthma, insomnia, skin disorders, respiratory disorders, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia (as it has a high source of iron), boils and cancer.
⦁ It boosts the immune system and promotes skin health
⦁ Cumin is used in the treatment of diabetes
⦁ It has antiviral and antibacterial properties and helps in strengthening the bones
⦁ It contains phosphorous and is hence used to promote detoxification
⦁ Nutritional value of cumin
One tablespoon of whole cumin seed has about:
⦁ 22 calories
⦁ 1 gram fat
⦁ zero grams cholesterol
⦁ 10 milligrams sodium
⦁ 3 grams carbohydrate
⦁ 1 gram dietary fiber
⦁ zero grams sugar
⦁ 1 gram protein
⦁ 76 international units vitamin A (2 percent DV)
⦁ 0.5 milligrams vitamin C (1 percent DV)
⦁ 0.2 milligrams vitamin E (1 percent DV)
⦁ 0.1 milligrams thiamin (1 percent DV)
⦁ 0.3 milligrams niacin (1 percent DV)
⦁ 0.1 milligrams riboflavin (1 percent DV)
⦁ 4 milligrams iron (22 percent DV)
⦁ 0.2 milligrams manganese (10 percent DV)
⦁ 56 milligrams calcium (6 percent DV)
⦁ 22 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV)
⦁ 30 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
⦁ 107 milligrams potassium (3 percent DV)
⦁ 0.1 milligrams copper (3 percent DV)
⦁ 0.3 milligrams zinc (2 percent DV)
Source – as per draxe.com