No more cumin, please!


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I'm kinda bummed because sooooooo many Whole30 recipes have cumin (and curry powder, for that matter) in them.  I. cannot. STAND. cumin.  It smells and tastes like a combination of bad body odor and sweat socks to me.

 

I've tried to like it, I really have.  I have a gigantic batch of Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup sitting in my fridge that I've been forcing myself to eat every day to get rid of it.  Not a fun way to spend your Whole 30 (Day 21 almost in the bag).

 

I was wondering if anyone has any good alternatives to using cumin and/or curry powder.  I've found a couple of recipes to make my own curry powder without cumin, but I haven't tried yet.  (I'm not sure yet about coriander.  My feelings on that are still somewhat neutral.)

 

I bought the Well Fed recipe book, and almost everything in there has cumin.  I was thinking of making "The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat" to prep for tomorrow, and ran into it yet again with cumin and coriander seeds in the brine.

 

A lot of times, I'll just omit the spices, but then I feel like I'm missing something.  I never know what could serve as a good substitute.  I'll sometimes change the recipe completely and give it a different flavor profile, but it would be nice to stick as close to the original as possible without the flavor of B.O.

 

As a note, I'm also generally not a fan of spicy foods.  I did finally find a chili powder I like (used it to make an oh-so-delicious Southwestern Frittata the other day), though!  I just tend to reaaaaaaally cut back on cayenne and red pepper flakes when they're in a recipe, or I omit them completely.

 

Anyway, I'm getting off-track.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

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I'm 100% with you.   The smell of cumin makes me sick to my stomach and I can't eat anything with more than a trace in it.  

 

I don't have any tips--I tend to ignore it.  Right now, I'm adding Penzey's smoked paprika to everything in sight.

 

Oooh, I need to get some more of that.  I only have a tiny jar because I used to only use it for deviled eggs a couple of times a year.  It's definitely growing on me!

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Well if its your run of the mill, store bought cumin....I agree

That yellow crap they sell in a jar and try to pass as curry powder is laughable and really gross!!!! I make about four or five different curry blends and each one is delicious and tastes nothing like the yellow stuff.... I don't think I use cumin in any of them.... That's more for North African/ mid eastern flare

Anyway.... Any seeds need to be FRESH and need to be freshly toasted before being ground to release the true flavor potential.... Until you have done this, you don't know what your missing

http://www.myspicesage.com/

I buy from them all the time..... Great quality and prices

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Well if its your run of the mill, store bought cumin....I agree

That yellow crap they sell in a jar and try to pass as curry powder is laughable and really gross!!!! I make about four or five different curry blends and each one is delicious and tastes nothing like the yellow stuff.... I don't think I use cumin in any of them.... That's more for North African/ mid eastern flare

Anyway.... Any seeds need to be FRESH and need to be freshly toasted before being ground to release the true flavor potential.... Until you have done this, you don't know what your missing

http://www.myspicesage.com/

I buy from them all the time..... Great quality and prices

 

Thanks for the info!  I get all of my spices from Penzeys and love their quality.  I will admit the curry powder I have is not Penzeys, but it's still an organic line of spices and I like the couple of other spices I've tried from them.

 

I'll take a look at the site you provided and think about the curry powders.  My boyfriend is going to be moving here in September, and he's a curry fanatic.  So, at least if I don't like them, I know he'll love them. :)

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I love cumin, so don't have much advice beyond: it's in garam masala (a traditional spice blend, commonly used as a base in Indian cooking), it's in panch (Indian five spice), it's in lots of taco seasoning recipes (lots of mexican too), lots of curry recipes, often paired with coriander, often in dry rubs and recipes containing corn (or mimicking corn).

 

Certain recipes are defined by what is not in them, so find some recipes for which the hallmark is no cumin and you'll find lots of recipes.

 

Or find a cumin substitute you like - ground coriander, caraway seeds, chili powder are some suggestions (although if you find cumin yucky, you may not like caraway). Cumin usually performs a function in recipes, so replacing it may require lots of tweaking to get the rest of the balance right, sometimes it's easier to build your own from scratch. If it's to add smoky, smoked paprika might work. Or you could make your own garam masala and leave the cumin out. If you've not tried it, black cumin tastes different to regular, but you may not like it either. Also check that there's nothing you like eating which secretly contains cumin, there may be a magic ingredient that balances it out for you.

 

Curries come from many parts of the globe and many of them have no cumin or garam masala, even Indian ones :)

Some Indian ones you might find cumin free recipes forjalfrezi, madras, bhuna, Goan.
I don't think you will find cumin-free: tandoori
 

India has lots of regional flavours (it's a BIG country), look through some indian cookbooks in a bookstore and see if you can find a regional one which doesn't use much cumin. If you can find an Indian grocery or spice store, you may find pre-made mixes without cumin.

 

Safety note for people experimenting with Indian curries and new ingredients -> Do not feed asafoetida (hing) to pregnant or breast feeding women or infants. Anyone with a health condition should check whether it's okay for them to eat asafoetida as it can have big impacts on your internal systems (existing bleeding disorders, convulsions, nervous system conditions in particular). It's used in medicine for the benefit of many, but should not be eaten by many others for exactly the same reasons. [Whole30 note: asafoetida is often made using wheat, but it's not always on the label! Look for gluten free]

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Certain recipes are defined by what is not in them, so find some recipes for which the hallmark is no cumin and you'll find lots of recipes.

 

Wow!!  Thank you so much for all of the information!

 

If caraway seeds are what is in rye bread, then no, I'm not a huge fan.  I'll give them a try, but I'm definitely buying the smallest amount possible just in case. :)

 

I did buy some garam masala at Penzeys last week.  It says it is "Punjabi Style" and it contains: coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, charnushka, caraway, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.  I smelled it before I bought it, and it smelled lovely.  I haven't made anything with it yet, but at least I found one spice combination without cumin!

 

I might give the black cumin a try, too.  I didn't know there was another kind.

 

Usually, even if it's just a minute amount, I can tell it's in something.  There is a local Moroccan restaurant I love to visit, but I always check before I order that my dish won't contain cumin or I ask them to leave it out, if possible.  So far, so good. :)

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This is a Penzey's sidetrack--when you want to make your own sausages (and you will at some point on this journey), the only sausage seasoning mix that is sugar free is the venison one.

 

(To the deer population in my area:  Stop trying to jump on my car.  I'm not going to eat you or your cousins.  I just wanted to add a little seasoning to my ground pork.  I promise.  I've had to slam on the brakes 3 times for errant deer since I bought the venison sausage seasoning...)

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I totally hated cumin since forever until recently. I started adding it in really minimal amounts when recipes called for it, then gradually I was able to tolerate it and even enjoy it. I do still think it smells like B.O., though (good call on that one). Curry was a slow burn for me, too; it took years and a trip to India to convince me.

Coriander and cardamom smell lovely, though! No need to be afraid of those.

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Cumin has never bothered me in things like chili, but I can't even walk past an Indian restaurant without getting nauseous.  There's something else (tumeric?) in that curry powder that really bothers me.  I wanted to try making a curry (never even tasted it because I can't get past the smell), but didn't want my house to reek.  I made my own curry blend from one of Alton Brown's recipes.  It was delicious!  It doesn't smell like sweaty feet, it was more brown than yellow, and it is now a keeper. 

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Cumin has never bothered me in things like chili, but I can't even walk past an Indian restaurant without getting nauseous.  There's something else (tumeric?) in that curry powder that really bothers me.  I wanted to try making a curry (never even tasted it because I can't get past the smell), but didn't want my house to reek.  I made my own curry blend from one of Alton Brown's recipes.  It was delicious!  It doesn't smell like sweaty feet, it was more brown than yellow, and it is now a keeper. 

 

Do you happen to have a link to the recipe?  I'd love to check it out. :)

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Do you happen to have a link to the recipe?  I'd love to check it out. :)

Here it is.  He mixes it with whole seeds and grinds them as he uses them.  I blended already ground seeds.  Over time it may lose a bit of flavor, but it is so much more convenient.  I find myself sprinkling it on all kinds of things.  Great on scrambled eggs.

 

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=289849

 

You can also find it on my pinterest boards.  I use pinterest like a recipe file.  http://www.pinterest.com/paleomaryann

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