Our Wild Mountain Cumin has a savory, penetrating aroma and bright, umami flavor. The tiny, oblong black seeds are hand-picked by foragers in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. Botanically distinct from common cumin, our Wild Mountain Cumin is renowned in Afghanistan and throughout central and south Asia for its delicious flavor as well as its medicinal properties. It has a savory, penetrating aroma and bright, umami flavor evocative of grilled meats and sweet caramelized onions.
What they're saying:
“This is like a supercharged version of what you know and love from Sichuan food or tacos. It’s incredibly versatile.” Rikki Giambruno, Chef & Owner, Hyacinth
- Origin: Badakhshan, Afghanistan
Aliases: Black cumin, Persian cumin, kala jeera, Elwendia persica
- Process: Sun-dried
- Ingredients: Whole wild cumin (Bunium persicum)
- Tasting notes: Grilled Onion • Dried Apricots • Mountain Air
- Spinach with Cumin and Garlic
- Chicken Korma
- Mahi Mahi with Stewed Spiced Peaches
- Moong Dal with Garam Masala
- Bhopali Pilaf
- Moroccan Chicken Kebabs
- Shazia's Kabuli Pilau: Afghan Spiced Rice
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Pairs well with: Black Urfa Chili, Smoked Pimenton Paprika, Purple Stripe Garlic
Our Wild Mountain Cumin is sourced directly from networks of foragers in the Hindu Kush mountain range of Badakhshan province in the northeastern corner of Afghanistan. The Hindu Kush range is characterized by steep, rocky peaks cut through by green river valleys; the significant snowfall in the winter results in abundant vegetation in the short spring and summer seasons despite low rainfall. The rocky soil cultivates an ancient and resilient varietal of cumin with a warm, pungent flavor and irresistible aroma.
The cumin grows wild, and other than the small quantities we export, is harvested only for local consumption; there is no scalability or institutional infrastructure for export, and we are only able to source this very rare cumin varietal because of Burlap & Barrel founder Ethan’s years working in Badakhshan and surrounding provinces.
Burlap & Barrel is the only importer of Wild Mountain Cumin from Afghanistan. Our cumin grows wild and can be considered naturally organic, as no pesticides or other chemicals are used in its cultivation.
Meet the Forager: Ali collects our Wild Mountain Cumin from foragers who bring it down from the high mountains of Afghanistan's Hindu Kush to Faizabad, where he cleans it and prepares it for shipment.
- Wild Mountain Cumin
A little goes a long way with this incredibly rich product.
Hard to grind down.
Good to have fresh cumin but it is difficult to grind to the consistency I like in the mortar and pestle even after toasting. Load to also buy store bought ground cumin
Burlap & Barrel
Thank you so much for reaching out! The Wild Mountain Cumin seeds are softer and smaller than what you may be used to, so they can be used whole in recipes calling for ground cumin. Try it and see how you like it! Otherwise, an electric grinder is a good way to make them into powder. Please just let us know if we can help with anything else.
Gift to daughter
I gave the spices to my daughter who had them on her Christmas list. She was thrilled to receive them and looks forward to using them.
Love the quality of the spices. You can tell the difference from “other” spices. These spices have such depth in aroma & flavor.
One of my favorites
This cumin has a bright taste that you can’t get with the powder. It is delicious. I highly recommend if you enjoy cumin! It’s my second favorite burlap spice, after the royal cinnamon.