Nigella seeds are one of the oldest recorded spices. Part of the Ranunculaceous family of flowering annual plants, Nigella sativa is found growing in many parts of the world. These small black tear-drop shaped seeds are often called black cumin or black onion seeds, but are not at all related to either of these. You may also find it in recipes as Chamushka or Kalonji. Organically certified, these seeds are grown and processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic chemicals or fertilisers, and preservatives. The raw seeds have a slightly pepper, toasted onion flavour that is a little bit bitter. When dry roasted (as they are most often used) the flavour becomes sweeter. Nigella seeds are extremely versatile and used in many cuisines including Indian, African and Middle Eastern.
HOW TO USE
Nigella seeds are best when toasted in a dry pan for just 2-3 minutes. They can then be added to any number of recipes or spice mixes. They are used in (or on) flatbreads all over the world, Persian taftan; Indian bhatura or naan, and are great in home-made crackers, bread, or savoury scones and muffins.
Sprinkle over soups, tagine dishes of chicken or lamb, and hotpots. Toss through couscous or saffron rice. Nigella is perfect with eggplant and squash, or spuds and root vegetables. Often used in Indian potato curries cooked with ghee.
Or try roasted beetroot with feta. Delicious in salad dressings with tomato and baby spinach or charred veggies and chickpeas. Many spice-mixes feature nigella including Zaatar, Garam masala, and Panch phoron (literally Bengali or spices) , roasted and ground nigella, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel & fenugreek. Nigella goes beautifully with chillies or great in pickles and chutneys.
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Refrigeration recommended in warm climates.
Up to 18 months when stored as above.
See Best Before date.