The true name for this spice is Nigella Seed and it is one of the more popular exotic spices. 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”, “black cumin” or “black cumin seed”.
It is indigenous to southern Europe and western Asia. It has an aroma that is similar to Oregano with a peppery flavor and it is somewhat bitter, dry and almost crunchy similar to a mustard seed. It is used as a spice in Middle Eastern and India dishes and is often dry roasted and used in curries and vegetarian dishes.
Nigella Seed is often found sprinkled on flatbreads, rolls, and used in legumes, pod fruit, rice, salad, chicken and green vegetables. Works well in combination with allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, pepper and turmeric.