What is Nigella?

Nigella is a spice that is mainly used when cooking Indian flat breads, such as naan, and vegetarian dishes.

The spice has a strong taste that is similar to oregano.

The Nigella spice is the seeds of the plant called Nigella Sativa. The seeds are tiny and black in colour. The seeds themselves don’t have much of an aroma but the oregano aroma is released when the seeds are fried or crushed. The taste is a bit like cracked pepper and is bitter.

Nigella is usually sprinkled on the top of Indian flat breads before they are cooked, as well as being used in a more traditional spice way with vegetarian dishes.

Other names for Nigella are Black Cumin (Nigella is NOT a type of cumin), Wild Onion Seed and Kalonji.

The main production place for Nigella is India.

You can buy Nigella in most Indian shops and supermarkets (it might be called Kala Jeera, Shahi Jeera or Black Cumin).

Nigella does have a couple of medicinal applications. It is used to treat indigestion and bowel problems.

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