An ancient spice, cumin is native to the Middle East and has been used for the past 5,000 years. Cumin is now grown in many places as it is rather easy to grow and adapts well to many climates. The cumin plant is harvested by hand.
The spice is one of the most commonly used spices in India, where it is used in many curry spice mixes and as such, has almost come to represent (to Westerners) the 'curry' flavour.
Ground cumin is great for adding to braised meat dishes and also works well rubbed into roasts with other ingredients such as honey or garlic.