Cumin Shelf Life: How Long Does Cumin Last?

What is the average shelf life of cumin? How long does cumin last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store cumin and cumin seeds to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Cumin

Whole Seeds1 Year--
Ground6 Months--

Cumin is basically a flowering plant, and it is a common kitchen herb. It is one of the most famous spices in the world. Cumin seeds belong to the parsley family. It is used whole or ground for seasoning. The aromatic seeds are also used for flavoring. Additionally, cumin seeds are used in making medicines. The shelf life of whole cumin seeds is one year, and for ground cumin, it is six months. The whole cloves will last for one year in a pantry. These type of spices don’t spoil, but they lose their strength if you don’t store them properly. Cumin exists in the forms of crushed, whole, or ground. The shelf life of spices and herbs changes with the passage of time. Cumin’s shelf life depends on the best-by date and how it is stored.

Purchasing Cumin

Cumin is cultivated in the Middle East, India, and China. You need to purchase whole cumin seeds as a substitute for cumin powder, because cumin powder loses its strength rapidly, and its seeds can be simply grinded with a mortar or pestle – an electric grinder is not required. Cumin seeds are easily available in big supermarkets, but they have very high rates. Always buy from local stores, and always buy organically-grown dried cumin. It is readily available in markets.

Storing Cumin

Cumin should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from direct sunlight. Ground cumin will last for six months, and whole cumin will last for about a year. Cumin seeds will also last for a year when stored in a pantry. With the passage of time, the intensity of ground cumin will decrease. Ground spices lose their smell and flavor quickly. The ground cumin you bought a year ago will not taste the same as cumin bought yesterday. Never keep cumin next to the stove. It should be kept in a tightly sealed container.

How to Handle Cumin

If cumin gets wet, don’t use it. If it has changed due to moisture, throw it away. Put the spices in sealed containers, and then store them in the freezer. In some cases, you don’t need to thaw the spices. Whenever you want to use frozen spices, shake them in the palm of your hand and then use them. Condensation is a very big problem when freezing things, so do not put the cumin directly into a cooking bowl.

Cooking Cumin

If you are using spices and herbs in your recipes, then you can reduce salt and sugar. A cumin tea can be made by boiling the seeds in water. You can also add cumin seeds into rice with dried almonds. Cumin has a distinctive aromatic smell, so that’s why it is used in a variety of dishes. Cumin is very common in India, because India is a hub of highly spiced food. It is mostly used in curry powder and in chicken recipes. Zeera pani is a traditional drink of India that is made with cumin and tamarind water.