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.
The seeds are smaller and softer than the cumin you may be used to, and they do not need to be ground before use.
- Mahi Mahi with Stewed Spiced Peaches
- Moong Dal with Garam Masala
- Moroccan Chicken Kebabs
- Sweet Potato Hash
- Qabuli Pilau/Spiced Rice
- Seared Spice-Crusted Fish & Spicy Pineapple Salsa
- Simple Spiced Tofu Scramble
- Sheet Pan Balsamic Chicken with Za'atar Chickpea Salad
- Barkha's Spring Pickles
- Kadhi with Jeera Rice
- White Sonora Wheat Berry & Red Bean Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
- Chicken-Zucchini Meatballs with Roasted Tomatoes
- Savory Granola
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.