Nigella Seeds, Organic 50g

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Native to the Mediterranean region. Cultivated and found wild mainly in Egypt and India, but also in other parts of North Africa, western and southern Asia, Southern Europe and the Middle East .  One of the oldest spices known to be used, nigella seeds (n. sativa) were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb and are mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament, although their use is not clear.  They are sometimes known as Kalonji.

Nigella is an annual plant with delicate blue or white flowers. The fruit is a large seed capsule with up to seven follicles that contain small, pear-shaped white seeds — they only turn black when exposed to air. When the fruit matures in September, the capsules are gathered before they burst and are then dried and gently crushed for the seeds to be collected.

The tiny black seeds have a slightly bitter taste with some of the pungency of onion, but also offer many other subtle nuances of flavour.Once you are familiar with the taste, the black dots add interest as a finishing touch to plain rice and to vegetables, especially such sweet ones as carrots and parsnips. They can also be used in salad dressings and are especially good on a simple, onion-free tomato salad. They add interest to all egg dishes as a sprinkle, from poached and boiled to scrambled and fried, and are good with cheese and cheese dishes, too.

Kept cool and dark in an airtight container, nigella seeds have a very long life.

Nigella has been used for centuries by Indian herbalists and doctors as a stimulant and in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion, and bowel disorders.

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