Organic Nigella Sativa Seeds
Organic Nigella Seeds
Organic Nigella Seeds, Nigella sativa, are also called charnushka, black seed, or kalonji.
The volatile oil content of Nigella seed averages 0.5% to 1.4%
What Are Nigella Seeds
This irregular-shaped, small black seed is used whole or ground and is a popular spice in North India, Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey for breads and vegetables. Black seed is the common name for the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant. The true name for this spice is Nigella Seed, though in Turkish cuisine it is often referred to as "black Caraway seed". You may also on occasion find this incorrectly listed and sold as black onion seed, Roman coriander, or black cumin seed. Some other interesting names this spice is sometimes called are "love-in-a-mist" and "devil in a bush."
History of Nigella Seeds
Nigella Seed is indigenous to the Mediterranean region through West Asia to northern India and has long been domesticated. There is evidence of cultivation and culinary use in Mesopotamia (area of present-day Iraq, and parts of Iran, Turkey, Syria and Kuwait) from 2000 BC. Several archeological sites in Egypt provide evidence of human use of Nigella seed from 1324 BC through the time of the Roman takeover of Egypt in 30 BC. The use of nigella seed is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Called "ketzah", nigella seed was eaten regularly, particularly on breads.
Greek pharmaco-botanist Dioscorides (40-90 AD) described the black seeds of a plant he referred to as “melanthion” (believed to have been Nigella) for use as food (sprinkled on bread). Nigella seeds were called the cure for "anything but death" by the Islamic prophet Mohammed during the eighth and ninth centuries. Nigella Seeds were introduced to the United States as "charnushka" by Armenian immigrants.
Nigella Seed Cultivation
Part of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae, the nigella plant reaches a height of about 20 inches. This plant is not picky about soil type, as long as it is well-drained and adequately nutrient dense. It likes full sun, but partial shade is okay. The seeds of this plant are cold-responsive, meaning they do better when planted during the early parts of the season when the soils are still chilled. The soil should be evenly moist but not extremely wet.
The leaves are greyish green, fine and feathery. The flowers start to appear in the late spring and are pale green when young and turn light blue, then pale blue and eventually white. The flowers of the plant will wilt and then produce seed pods, but if the wilted flowers are removed from the plant, another flower will pop up in its place. The small, irregular, almost pear-shaped seed forms inside a seed pod and matures from green to white. The seeds must be harvested before there are ripe, so the seeds don't burst out all over the place. Once the seed pod is harvested, it is dried and then crushed gently to gain access to the seeds. The seeds are white until they are exposed to the air- this turns them black.
The majority of the global commercial supply of Nigella Seeds is in Egypt, India and Turkey.
Where is Our Nigella Seed From?
What does Nigella Seed Taste Like
When ground, Nigella has a sharp, peppery and nutty taste with a warm, slightly fruity and oregano-like aroma.
What is Nigella Seed Good For
Toast Nigella Seeds lightly before adding to a dish to release the essential oils and enhance their nutty flavor. Nigella seeds are commonly found on breads like naan or other similar Indian flatbreads and are used in place of caraway seeds on Jewish rye breads. Can also be used on bagels, rolls, or biscuits. Add to dishes with red lentils, soups especially. These are delicious on squashes with butternut squash being a popular pairing choice. Add them to salads or soups right before serving for a nice crunch. When added to a salad, they are especially good in a salad full of greens and mandarin oranges. The brightness of the orange pairs well with the flavors of the nigella seeds. Nigella seeds can be used as a dry dip, particularly for hard boiled eggs and string cheese.
Works well when used with chicken, soft cheeses, lamb, green vegetables, root vegetables, legumes, and is easily incorporated into various stir-fries and vegetarian dishes.
Nigella pairs well with ajwain, allspice, cardamom, coriander, fennel seed, fenugreek, pepper, and turmeric.
Is There a Substitute for Nigella Seeds
Organic Black Sesame Seeds can be used in place of nigella seeds for their nutty flavor and similar coloring. These can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio.
|Ingredients||Organic Nigella Seeds|
|Also Called||Charnushka, black seed, or kalonji|
|Recommended Uses||Beans, breads, soft cheeses, chicken, flatbreads, lamb, naan, salads, soups, and root vegetables|
|Flavor Profile||A sharp, peppery and nutty taste with a warm, slightly fruity and oregano-like aroma|
|Oil Content||0.5% to 1.4%|
|Botanical Name||Nigella sativa|
|Cuisine||Indian, Middle Eastern|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||Egypt|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*