Cumin is an Indian and Nepalese restaurant serving exceptional food in Wicker Park, an area of Chicago devoid of many ethnic restaurants, and especially one serving the flavors of the Indian sub-continent and Himalayas of Nepal. Whether you dine in or order delivery, Cumin will awaken your senses of taste, as well as smell. The way that Cumin explains it, Nepalese food is milder and does not incorporate any dairy products in its preparation, while Indian food primarily focuses its rich taste on various spice mixtures and sauce bases. The menu is broken up into Nepalese and Indian dishes, into appetizers, soups and salads, and entrees, and once again by the main ingredient, such as chicken, beef, seafood, and vegetables.
Sharing is the way to go at any Indian restaurant, and Cumin is no exception. The menu at Cumin is quite large, and sharing will ensure covering as much ground as possible. While I, personally, have not tried any of the Nepalese dishes because I like my food a bit more spicy, the Indian dishes I have tried have all been delicious.
The vegetable samosas are cooked perfectly and offer a fragrant spice blend that you can smell and taste. The palak paneer is a classic dish of spinach and home made cottage cheese cooked in Indian spices and tomato curry sauce. Perfect eaten on its own or scooped up with the warn garlic naan. A personal favorite is the baingan bharta, eggplant roasted in tandoor and pureed. Served over basmanti cumin rice, this vegetarian dish is a winner. Another favorite is the dal tadka, lentils cooked overnight in Indian spices, such as cumin, whole red chili, garlic cloves, and an amazing spice mix. This dish was popular even amongst the meat lovers. The shrimp curry, while amazing in flavor, is a bit stingy on the shrimp. The ratio of sauce to protein was definitely off both times we ordered this dish. However, both the chicken chili masala and lamb bhuna were crowd pleasers. A side of the mint-cucumber raaita, a cool yogurt with mint, cucumber and roasted cumin powder, is refreshing and tempers the spiciness in the dishes.
Cumin is great for a date night or dinner with a group of friends. It also has a large delivery radius and, as a result, is one of our favorite Sunday night casual at-home dinners. Every time I eat Cumin’s fare, I cannot wait to return to explore more of the menu items. When you try Cumin, comment below and let me know what you recommend. I will try it next time I am there!
1414 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622