I love Cumin. I put it in Chai Green Tea just because! Cumin is the seed of a small, herbaceous umbellifer, native to just one locality. The Nile valley of Egypt, but long cultivated in most hot regions- the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, India, China and America.
Cumin was used in medicines in Egypt and Minoan Crete at least 4,000 years ago. Think of it!
The aroma of cumin is enhanced if the seeds are dry roasted before they are ground or fried in oil if they are used whole. The combination of ground cumin in Indian recipes can be confusing because it is sometimes translated as caraway.
Years ago, my husband had a friend named Eloisa. She was dying of cancer, but she was willing to teach him how to make tortillas and braised meat with cumin. Yum! I no longer eat meat, but I have transferred her recipe to potatoes and onions. tomatoes and jalapenos all wrapped together ready for a tortilla.
Eloisa's adapted recipe:
1 lb. waxy small potatoes, whole
3 T. extra virgin olive oil (I like 2 T. olive oil and 1 T. mustard oil)
1 t. cumin seeds
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion diced
dash red pepper flakes
1 t. cumin powder
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1/4-1/8 t. Jalapeno minced small
Salt and ground pepper to taste.
Boil potatoes for 15 minutes or until fork gives in without resistance. Drain and Cool on towel to dry.
When cool use the flat side of a knife and lightly flatten skin so it breaks but remains intact.
Heat 2 T. oil and fry potatoes until light brown on both sides. Remove.
Add 1 T. oil and fry cumin seeds, garlic and onions for 1 minute on medium heat.
Add potatoes, tomatoes, jalapeno, salt and pepper, cumin powder, red pepper flakes and cook on simmer. Gently turn potatoes after 5-7 minutes. Continue to simmer until all ingredients come together. Adjust seasonings.
Serve with green onions and cilantro and tortillas on the side.