Nigella seeds (Kalonji)

These small black seeds grown in India are from the Nigella flower they are also known as onion seeds although totally unconnected to onions. Nigella seeds have a peppery and nutty flavour but have a bitter taste.

Nigella seeds are normally used whole in Indian cooking, particularly in vegetable, fish and lentil dishes as well as sprinkled on naan bread. They are also used as a pickling ingredient.

Nigella seeds are one of five spices alongwith cumin, fennel, fenugreek and mustard used to make up a spice mix usually linked to Bengali cookery called ‘paanch phoran’.