INDIA. Cumin has a pungent, warm, earthy flavor. Widely used in Indian, Middle Eastern, North African and Mexican cooking, cumin also features in German cooking. Use cumin seed whole or dry-fry and grind just prior to adding to a recipe.Dry-frying cumin seeds brings out a toasted nutty flavor, making the spice less harsh. Add whole cumin seeds to sauerkraut, pickles and sausage. Combine cumin with chile peppers to season chili, tacos or enchiladas. Cumin is a key ingredient in Indian masala and curry blends.