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Seeds - Spice Producing Areas
SeedsAjowan is an annual herbaceous plant bearing the grayish- brown fruits [seeds], which constitute the spice. The plant is grown in Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan and chiefly in India [largely in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh etc.]. It is generally grown in October-November and harvested in May-June.

Source of Anardana is said to be the wild pomegranate trees covering vast strip of hill slopes of Jammu and parts of Chamba, Kangra and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh. The main areas where anardana is collected are the `Raisu` Udhampur, Ramban` Kishtwar` and Bhadurwah Forest Divisions. In these areas, the fruits are hand picked towards the middle of October, when they are ripe and brownish-red in color. Seeds along with the pulp are separated by hand from the rind and are sun-dried for about 10-15 days when their color turns reddish brown. The main assembling center for anardana is Udhampur from where distribution is done all over the country.A wild type of pomegranate called `Daru` grows abundantly in the lower Himalayas. Its seeds, when dried, give good quality anardana.

Aniseed is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the ajowan family and a native of the East Mediterranean region. It is widely cultivated in Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South America, Syria, Turkey and Russia. In India, it is grown to a small extent as a culinary herb or as a garden plant. It is often confused with fennel [Foeniculum vulgare], since both are known as saunf in India. It is grown on a small scale in Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. It can be successfully grown as a Rabi crop. Presently however aniseed consumed in India is imported from France, Spain and other countries.

Caraway, or "Caraway seed" of commerce, is the fruit of this biennial herb. The fruit is known as seed because they look like seed. It is native to North and Central Europe, and is extensively cultivated in Holland, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, Syria, Morocco and to small extent, in England. It grows wild in India in the North Himalayan regions. It is also cultivated in the plains as a cold season crop and in the hills of Kashmir and Kumaun at an altitude of 2,740 to 3,660 meters, as a summer crop.

The native habitat of Celery extends from Sweden to Egypt, Algeria and Ethiopia, and in Asia, to India, Caucasus and Beluchistan. Celery is cultivated both for salad ands seed raising in the north-west Himalayas, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, France and the USA. In the Amritsar district of Punjab alone, about 300 acres had been put under this crop in the Rabi season. Celery seed is in great demand both in India and abroad. In colder climates and on the hills, celery is a biennial crop and produces seeds only in the second year, but in the plains, it becomes an annual and produces seeds in the very first year. It is a moisture loving plant, requires cool climate.

Celeriac is grown in France. In India it is grown up to limited extent in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

SeedsCorriander is a native of Mediterranean region, India, Morocco, the CIS countries, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Mexico and the USA are important countries where coriander is commercially grown.
In India, coriander is cultivated in practically all the States and constitutes an important subsidiary crop in the black cotton soils of Deccan and South India (Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu), and the rich silt loam of North India (Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh etc.). In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, over one-lakh acres are under coriander cultivation. Similarly, it is grown on a fairly large scale in Punjab and neighboring states.

Cumin is one of the oldest spices, known since Biblical times. Today, the plant is grown extensively in Iran, India, Morocco, China, Russia, Indonesia, Japan and Turkey. Iran is major exporter of cumin seeds known as green cumin.
In India, cumin is cultivated in almost all the states, but leading states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Black Cumin is reported to be native of the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean region). It is said to be cultivated or occasionally found as a weed in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Bihar.

European Dill is indigenous to Europe and is cultivated in England, Germany, Rumania,, Turkey, the USA and Russia. Cultivation in India is tried only recently.

Fennel is cultivated mostly as a garden or home yard crop throughout India at all altitudes up to 1,825 meters. It requires a fairly mild climate and is cultivated as a cold weather crop in parts of North India. It does not succeed so well in South India except at high elevations, mostly in Karnataka.

Fenugreek is the dried ripe fruit of an annual herb, native of South Eastern Europe and West Asia and now cultivated in India, Argentina, Egypt, Southern France, Morocco and Lebanon. The fruit is known as seed in language of commerce due to its size and shape. The seed is small and yellowish brown in color. It has a pleasantly bitter taste and a peculiar odor and flavor of its own.

In India, Mustard is the principal oil seed crop, like yellow sarson, brown sarson, toria and rai. Punjab rai is grown to a limited extent in the central districts of the Punjab. Banarasi rai and white mustard are also grown to a small extent. The seeds of these two species are used for the preparation of table mustard.

Poppy Seed is cultivated almost all over Far Eastern countries, Afghanistan, part of North Eastern India, particularly interior districts like Ukhrul in Manipur etc., and some of the other places in India. Officially under legal license it is cultivated in Varanasi region of Uttar Pradesh and in few selected states. It requires license from Excise Departments who monitor the activities. It is also illegal to trade its seeds in raw condition and should only be sold after boiling so that the seed that is sold cannot regenerate a plant illegally.

False Coriander is a small herb, growing in wild form in many parts of North Eastern India but virtually unknown in rest of India. It is commonly used as spice in Manipur and neighboring areas.
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