Kalonji or Nigella seeds, come from the Nigella Sativa, an annual flowering plant that produces fruit that contains numerous seeds. Nigella seeds look like small bits of black coal (the easiest way for us to describe it!) and impart a smoky sharp taste.
Popular in India, West Bengal, and Bangladesh they’re rarely consumed outside of these countries. The seeds are often sold whole and the seeds are often used as a garnish for breads and curries.
Nigella, often referred to as black cumin and sometimes misnamed as black onion seed, is not to be confused with traditional caraway seed. This slightly bitter, pungent spice seed is its own unique species.
Pungent, slightly bitter
Light to dark, black seeds
Approximately 1/8-inch long, curved seeds
- Incorporate into baked goods, like rye bread or naan bread
- A must for the traditional Indian dish, Baingan Burtha
- Sprinkle on top of vegetables such as potatoes or squash
- Combine with seeds of fenugreek, cumin, mustard and fennel for the traditional five-spice blend panch phoron
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