Our Wild Mountain Cumin is hand-picked by foragers in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. They are tiny, oblong and black, with long stems. Botanically distinct from common cumin (Cuminum cyminum), 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:
"A recent obsession.” -Alex Raij, Chef & Owner of Txikito
“Even stale grocery store cumin usually smells like something, but this is like a supercharged version of what you know and love from Sichuan food or tacos. It’s incredibly versatile — we use it to crust things, or in sauces and vinaigrettes. Sometimes we dry toast it and hit it in a mortar and pestle, then top a salsa with it to get all the little crunchy bits for additional texture.” -Rikki Giambruno, Chef and Owner of Hyacinth in Saint Paul
- Origin: Badakhshan, Afghanistan
Aliases: black cumin, Persian cumin, kala jeera
- Process: Sun-dried
- Ingredients: 100% whole wild cumin (Bunium persicum)
- Tasting notes: Grilled Onion • Dried Apricots • Mountain Air
- Toast whole seeds in oil to start stir-fries, soups or curries
- Add to your rub for meats or vegetables before roasting or grilling
- Create a DIY curry powder or garam masala
- In Spinach with Cumin and Garlic (community recipe)
- In Chicken Korma (community recipe)
- In Mahi Mahi with Stewed Spiced Peaches (community recipe)
- Pairs well with: Black Urfa Chili, Ground Cinnamon Verum, Nile Coriander
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 Mohamed 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
Use it on a lot of Mexican dishes. Love it. Good flavor
It was really good, we have tried it with different recipes and like it a lot plus my husband combined it with turmeric and dried chili peppers as a way to spice things up and he really likes it.
Delicious! I feel like it’s just more than standard grocery store spices. It’s deeper in flavor.
I love all my spices, I particularly love the wild mountain cumin. The cumin was excellent with my stuffed eggplant last night. I also used the Sweet Pepper Paprika and the Ea Sar black pepper in my eggplant; it was so savory and yummy. I haven't used my Sumac yet, but i'm looking forward to it.
Hi Burlap and Barrel, My 10 year old decided with her budget for family members to get them spices for their stockings this Christmas. Everyone was very intrigued and looking forward to using them. I was so impressed with your simple but elegant website, the stories of each spice and suggestions on use, I made sure to share that was sure to encourage a browse through your website. Thank you and happy cooking, Julie F