Nigella Seeds (kalonji)
Nigella seeds are also known as ‘ Kalonji ‘ or ‘ Mangereila ‘ or black onion seeds in India.. Nigella seeds are the dried, seed-like fruit of a small herb. The seeds are long and jet black with a matte finish. They closely resemble tiny chips of coal. Nigella seeds are sold whole and can be dry roasted and powdered at home. Nigella seeds are sometimes erroneously referred to as black cumin, an entirely different species. Nigella seeds are used in India and the Middle East as a seasoning for vegetables, legumes, salads and breads.
Nigella Seed– Names in different Indian Languages.
Hindi – Kallonji , Bengal – Mangrelle, Gujrati – kallonji,
Urdu – Kallonji
In India, the seeds are used as a carminative and stimulant to ease bowel and indigestion problems, and are given to treat intestinal worms, nerve defects, to reduce flatulence, and induce sweating
The seeds are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The dry-roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste like a combination of onions, black pepper and oregano, and have a bitterness to them like mustard seeds. It can be used as a "pepper" in recipes with pod fruit, vegetables, salads and poultry.
Nigella seeds are also used in the dough of salty snacks like ‘ Samosa’ , ‘ Kachori’ , ‘Namkeen’ and in Indian ‘ Nan’.
These can be kept in airtight containers.
Nigella seeds lose their flavor in course of time so it is advisable to keep a note of its packaging date. Since it resembles coal chips it is very prone to adulteration.