What is the difference between cumin seed and caraway seed?

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At Culy we love to unravel culinary mysteries, including the difference between cumin seed and caraway seed. Because although the two are very similar – both in appearance and in taste – there are of course also clear differences.

Do you already find it confusing? It doesn’t get any easier when you know that caraway seeds are also sometimes called wild cumin. That reveals a bit that the seeds come from the same family. But don’t be fooled by the terms, we just use cumin seeds and caraway seeds here for an overview.

Cumin seeds and caraway seeds: the differences

Cumin seed

Shape: longer, straighter seeds

Taste: milder, nutty, sweet, spicy and warm

Applying cumin seeds in the kitchen:

In the Netherlands we love cumin cheese, but in India they throw it in the curry or  dhal . In Spain they use it in chorizo ​​and sometimes in paella, while in Greece and Turkey they spice up spicy dishes like  cilbir  .

It is also often a regular ingredient in North African tajines, just like the Mexicans do in their  chilis  .

Hummus also  brightens up enormously with a little ground cumin, just like dukkah And a simple soup with zucchini , for example , could also use some. We thought we recognized its warm tones, for example, in Joris Bijdendijk’s gazpacho with ricotta .

Green gazpacho with ricotta and radish
Source: Nancy van Batenburg for Culy

caraway seed

Shape : rounder, curved seeds

Taste: sharper, aniseed, spicy and warm

Using caraway seeds in the kitchen: 

In Germany you see it a lot on bread. The much-loved pretzels there ( Brezel  in German) are also sold with a thick layer of caraway seeds on top, as if they were sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds.

But caraway seed is also very tasty with cabbage (because of the  coleslaw for example, or with red cabbage in beer ), in soups (from vegetable soup to beetroot soup), but also with meat. Mostly lamb or pork, but a few grilled chicken legs with caraway are also very tasty.

It is also great in an Indian curry, with  bombay potatoes  or a  shakshuka . Or use it in a quiche: caraway and cheese go well together.

And also try it in combination with orange. This way you give a special twist to homemade cookies or cake.

Cooking red cabbage with beer
Source: Nancy van Batenburg for Culy

Conclusion? Cumin seeds and caraway seeds may not be far apart, but real foodies will easily know how to tell them apart.


Source: Culy by culy.nl
*The article has been translated based on the content of Culy by culy.nl If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process it as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author.

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