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Spices & Seasonings/cumin against flatulence


One of my favorite home cooking recipes is for chili. Usually I add ground cumin to counter flatulence, and I sauté it first in oil. For the purpose of countering flatulence, is it better to sauté the cumin, or just add it to the chili pot after all the ingredients including liquids, tomatoes etc. are cooking? Does it make any difference?

Hi David,

Thanks for the question! The good news is that cumin not only has those wonderful aromatic properties to use in your food, but has long been used as a digestive aid in herbal medicine. I'll describe in ascending order of preference the best way to expedite the release of the seed's essential oils, which enhances both flavor and seed's medicinal properties.

- Adding directly to hot liquid, like chili, without any prior preperation will typically yield a more subtle flavor. The spice never reaches a high enough temperature to release all the oils in the spice, and even though long cooking will help, it will also mute flavors at times. Even for a crockpot recipe, the methods below are preferable and can be incorporated with just a few extra minutes and a small pan.

- Next best, Saute pre-ground cumin with your other aromatics ( onions, garlic, any dry spices like oregano, etc.# before adding your liquid and other ingredients.

- Better, toast the ground cumin in the dry pan for a few minutes. Remove, add oil, other aromatics, the toasted cumin, and the continue with the recipe.

-Best, toast whole cumin seeds in a dry pan, use a cheap coffee grinder #$15 or less at target)to grind them, then add fresh ground spice to your sauteing aromatics before adding liquid.
This method, while a bit more time-intensive, will produce the most aromatic flavors by using the freshest seeds packed with essential oils and releasing the flavors and digestive properties into your recipe at just the right time!

The last option, while the best, obviously does take a few extra steps. I would at least recommend try option 3. I hope you find this helpful! Please don't hesitate to respond if you have any follow up questions.



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