Thank you all for the kind, friendly, and helpful replies!
These are all good thoughts. I know it wasn't cumin. I cook with cumin often and use it as a base for a dry rub on ribs.
@Munchies--Yes! Food is strongly linked to memory (and scent, taste) for me. My Dad is in poor health now, so recalling our dinners at Aladdin's somehow makes him feel closer. I lived 14 miles from my Dad until recently, when I moved to accept a job in Indiana. The 130 miles isn't super far, but I also can't drive over and eat dinner a few times per week.
I'm excited to have found this forum. Cooking is my favorite hobby. I like blogging about what I cook and eat, or just sharing on Instagram.
Recently I saw an article about how people using baking to show affection. That's me! :)
Here's the article:
How To Make A Crepe Cake: Slow Down And Win Hearts