Roasted Cumin Powder (Bhuna Jeera Powder)


how to make and use roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder)

Roasted Cumin Powder

If you’ve been using regular ground cumin in my recipes that call for roasted cumin (bhuna jeera powder), oh my gosh, you’ve been missing out, my friend.

The two spices are nothing alike… despite coming from the same spice, of course, heh. They’re like siblings – sure, you see the obvious family resemblance, but man, are they different. One is mild-mannered, and the other, super intense and, well, a little wild. (I’m definitely thinking of my two little boys as I write this, lol).

When it comes to spices, they can take on a completely different character depending on how you treat them. Leave them whole, and they’re mild and fragrant; crush them, and they come back with a vengeance; toast them, and they transform. (And now I feel like I’m describing superheroes… cumin to the rescue!).

how to make and use roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder)

Roasted cumin is well known for its use in Raita (yogurt), Chaat (Indian street/snack food), and Chana Masala, but it’s used in many other dishes as well. I’m sharing a bunch of recipes that call for it below. But first… let’s talk about how cumin and roasted cumin are different.

How is Roasted Cumin Different From Regular Cumin?

Okay, so we have cumin seeds, right? When we grind cumin seeds, we get cumin powder. When we dry roast cumin seeds in a hot pan and wait for the seeds to turn dark brown and THEN grind them, we have roasted cumin powder.

Roasted cumin powder, also known as bhuna jeera powder, is highly aromatic and has a more intense flavor than regular unroasted cumin. It’s a bit nutty and adds a unique flavor to recipes – one that’s kind of hard to describe.

You know how dried fenugreek leaves can transform butter chicken? Like, you think Butter Chicken is good, but then you add those dried leaves, and it turns the dish into something unbelievably good? Roasted cumin powder has that same ability – to totally transform a dish. Once you use it, you realize what you’ve been missing and can’t do without it. A few spices have this special superpower, and bhuna jeera happens to be one of them.

Recipes Calling for Roasted Cumin Powder (Bhuna Jeera Powder):

How to Make Roasted Cumin Powder:

The great thing about bhuna jeera powder is that it’s straightforward to make. Get cumin seeds and toast them in a dry pan until they turn crisp and the color changes to a dark brown; then add them to a spice grinder and blend.

Do not let the cumin seeds turn black or get burnt. You can go easy on the dark brown if you’re concerned about burning the seeds, but getting them to a toasty dark brown without burning them is what I consider the roasted cumin sweet spot.

Give this spice a try and let me know what you think of it 🙂

how to make and use roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder)

Roasted Cumin Powder (Bhuna Jeera Powder)

how to make and use roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder)

Roasted Cumin Powder (Bhuna Jeera Powder)

Roasted cumin powder is highly aromatic and has a more intense flavor than regular (unroasted) cumin. It’s slightly nutty and adds a unique flavor to recipes. If a recipe calls for roasted cumin powder, do not substitute it with regular cumin as you won’t get the right flavor. You can sprinkle this directly onto a dish or onto yogurt for more flavor.
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  • Heat a skillet over low heat and dry roast the cumin seeds for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the color of the cumin changes to a dark brown.
  • Turn off the heat and allow the cumin seeds to cool down.
  • Place the cumin into a spice grinder and blend until smooth (you can also use a mortar pestle if you prefer).
  • Store in an airtight jar and use within 6-8 months for the most flavor.
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how to make and use roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder)

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Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Alan Colbert says

    Love your recipes but your website is so polluted with adds that it const Freezes up and makes it intolerable to read. It also constantly reloads because of this issue. I usually just hit the “ jump to recipe” link and print it out.

  2. jw says

    It’s important not to try to get the seeds too dark. When you grind them they will appear much darker. 5-10 minutes is enough!

  3. Aarti says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, What a beautiful family you have. And how lucky they are to be served these delicious meals. I have been using this site for over a year now and want to thank you for making cooking so much easier. Your site is organized, the recipes are clear, and videos are super helpful. Our family & friends are enjoying the meals. This is a long overdue – Thank You!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Nitesh, I think it’ll be fine for up to a year – maybe longer. If it’s still fragrant, I’d say use it. If you don’t plan to use it often, then you can always make a smaller batch. We go through it pretty quickly as I always add it to raita.

  4. Samantha McArthur says

    Cumin is the spice I use most, but never roasted cumin! I’m really keen to try this and taste the unique flavour you talk about. Thanks.

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