Cumin vs. Fennel: What's the Difference?

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Cumin vs. Fennel

Key Difference

The difference between cumin and fennel is that cumin comes from Cuminum cyminum plant whereas fennel comes from Foeniculum vulgare plant.

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Cumin vs Fennel

Cumin and fennel seeds are being used overages for cooking and several other reasons. Cumin seeds are obtained from a plant whose botanical name is Cuminum Cyminum whereas fennel comes from plant whose botanical name is Foeniculum vulgare plant. Cumin is usually brown in colour whereas fennel seeds are greenish in colour. Both the seeds belong to Apiaceae family. The herbal plant cumin grows up to thirty to fifty centimetre tall and fennel grows up to two and a half meter tall (2.5m). Only seeds of the plant are edible when it comes to cumin, but for the fennel seeds and stem, both are edible. The seeds of cumin are long for about four to ten millimetre long and longitudinally ridged; in addition to it, these are oblong in shape. The seeds of fennel are also of same size and shape but are aromatic and used for flavouring. Cumin is rich in iron whereas fennel has a sufficient concentration of dietary fibre and minerals. Cumin was firstly found in eastern Mediterranean and India while fennel has originated from the shores of Mediterranean countries.

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Comparison Chart

Basis Cumin Fennel
Botanical plant Cuminum cyminum Foeniculum vulgare
Size of plant thirty to fifty centimetre tall two and a half meter tall (2.5m)
Size of seed four to ten millimetre long four to ten millimetre long
Colour of seed Yellow or brown in colour Green in colour
Aromatic property Simply aromatic in nature Highly aromatic in nature
Edible property Only seeds are edible Seed and stem both are edible
Colour of flower White or pink in colour Yellow in colour
Shape of seed Oblong in shape and longitudinally ridged Oblong in shape
Origin East Mediterranean and India In shores of Mediterranean countries
Kingdom Plantae Plantae
Order Apiales Apiales
Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Genus Cuminum Foeniculum
Species cyminum vulgare
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What is Cumin?

Cumin is a perennial herb that belongs to the carrot family and is a flowering plant. The plant has feathery leaves and beautiful small flowers that are usually yellow in colour and are forty centimetre long. It was found primarily in East Mediterranean and India, but now due to the advancement of technology and science in agriculture, it is being cultivated in many parts of the world. Science has proven many medical uses of cumin and is thus also used for several reasons including medication and cooking purpose. It cures specific skin orders, hair loss and anaemia. Moreover, it also helps to prevent the mucous formation in the respiratory tract and dandruff problems. It improves digestion and is used in many remedies by Asian women mostly, i.e. for several face packs. The seeds of cumin are dried in western and Asian countries and are used as an essential ingredient in cooking. Besides it, it is also used for garnishing dishes. Apart from kitchen uses it is also used for the production of oil and alcohol. These are used in ground and whole form both. Cumin as a good source of iron and besides the presence of irons it has many other metabolites such as Cuminaldehyde, cymene, and terpenoids in it due to which these are healthy to consume too. When it comes to the taste of seed, it is an excellent combination of earthy, musky and slightly bitter and a spicy which is hit to our taste buds after a few moments of intake.

What is Fennel?

Fennel from Kingdom: Plantae, Genus: Foeniculum and Species: vulgare has distinguished mesmerizing aroma. It was firstly found in the shores of Mediterranean countries. The seeds of the plant are greenish in colour. The stem has a bulb-like a shape and is edible too as seeds. The leaves of the plant are approximately forty centimetres long. The plant is very delicate and grows up to two and a half meter long. The seeds of the plant when dried are very aromatic and taste good too. The taste could be explained as they are sweet, light and fresh and have an earthy scent. The seeds when get aged they change their colour to grey. It is very widely used household spice and is used for cooking. It has many medical uses as well. It helps to cure heartburn, bloating and diarrhoea. It helps to increase the immunity of the body and helps improving digestion and appetite. It is very useful for the patients with constipation and removes flatulence. It is being used since ages for treatment of a cough and bronchitis as a household remedy.

Key Differences

  1. Cumin comes from Cuminum cyminum plant whereas fennel comes from Foeniculum vulgare plant.
  2. The cumin plant is 30 to 50cm tall and fennel plant is about 2.5m tall.
  3. The seeds of cumin are four to ten millimetre long and are yellow or brown in colour while that of fennel are greenish in colour.
  4. Only seeds of cumin plant are edible whereas seeds and stem both are edible in case of fennel.
  5. The flowers of the cumin plant are white and pink in colour, but the flowers of the fennel plant are yellow in colour.
  6. The cumin plant was primarily found in East Mediterranean and India, and fennel plant was basically located in shores of Mediterranean countries.
  7. Fennel is more used as after food digestive and seasoning purposes whereas cumin is used more during cooking as a spice.

Conclusion

Cumin and fennel both are very similar to each other but are very different plants when it comes to their taste, aroma and uses. Both are used as a culinary product, but fennel is more used as after food digestive and seasoning purposes whereas cumin is used more during cooking as a spice for flavouring the dish and for garnishing the recipe too.

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