Also knows as Black Cumin Seeds, Black Seed, Black Onion Seed
Country of origin: India
The seeds of N. sativa are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The black seeds taste like a combination of onions, black pepper, and oregano. They have a pungent, bitter taste and smell.
Nigella sativa (black caraway, also known as black cumin, nigella, and kalonji) is an annual flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to south and southwest Asia.
Nigella sativa grows to 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in) tall, with finely divided, linear (but not thread-like) leaves. The flowers are delicate and usually coloured pale blue and white, with five to ten petals.
The fruit is a large and inflated capsule composed of three to seven united follicles, each containing numerous seeds which are used as spice, sometimes as a replacement for black cumin.
The dry-roasted seeds flavour curries, vegetables, and pulses. They can be used as a "pepper" in recipes with pod fruit, vegetables, salads, and poultry. In some cultures, the black seeds are used to flavour bread products and are used as part of the spice mixture panch phoron (meaning a mixture of five spices) and alone in many recipes in Bengali cuisine and most recognizably in naan bread. Nigella is also used in Armenian string cheese, a braided string cheese called majdouleh or majdouli in the Middle East.