These aromatic, almost aniseed-tinged seeds are used in nearly all Indian dishes.
Cumin, also known as Jeera, is the most commonly used spice in Indian cooking. It brings out the natural sweetness of your dish and gives an earthy, warming aroma, too. The seeds are pretty versatile little things and can be roasted, dry fried, even baked and then used whole to impart more of their nutty flavour.
Cumin partners beautifully with mustard seeds, especially in vegetarian dishes, and when ground to a powder it can be used in sauces, marinades and masala pastes. It's also the key base spice of garam masala.
Cumin is high in iron and the seeds help the digestion process by stimulating pancreatic enzymes (always nice to know, that).