Nigella seeds (kalonji, black cumin) are a spice harvested from the plant Nigella sativa and are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. These black seeds are approximately 0.125 inches in length and have a slightly triangular shape, and may also be confused with black sesame seeds. The dry roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste like 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.
They form the basis for several Indian dishes, particularly in Northern regions, and are popular as sprinkled on naan, which is Indian flatbread, or in rice pilau.A five spice mix common in Bengal called paanch phoron may include nigella seeds as one of the five spices, mixing them with fennel, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds.
The Nigella oil is an anti-oxidant and popular for its medicinal value.
- 200gm maida
- 3/4 tsp castor sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp soda bicarb
- 1/2 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup yoghurt (hung)
- 1/4 cup cup milk
- 1/4 tbsp melted ghee or butter
- 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp Nigella seeds (Kalaunji)
Sieve the flour, sugar, salt and soda bicarb twice. Add the ghee and rub with fingers till the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Keep aside. Beat the egg, yogurt and milk together. Now add it to the flour and knead a smooth dough. Knead well for 8-10 minutes. Cover and keep in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
Divide the dough into 5 portions and using a little flour, roll out rotis. Apply a little ghee on the top with a brush and sprinkle poopy and Nigella seeds. Press a little with the hand. Apply water on the bottom side and cook in a hot tandoor or oven. When done, remove from the tandoor and apply a little butter on top and serve hot with any curry
In Indian and Persian medicine, kalonji has been used as a cure to all ills. Some suggest the seeds take the sting out of scorpion bites, help treat intestinal problems, end facial paralysis, stop rheumatoid arthritis in its tracks, and treat kidney problems, heart ailments, and hemorrhoids. Though the seeds cannot possibly be the silver bullet cure for everything, they are high in antioxidants, and their smell is said to repel some insects. You may find kalonji in naturally made or organic insect repellents. (Source :wiki)
Nigella oil is used for sinus problems, you can use ½ tsp of the oil and very hot water for a facial steam. You can rub the oil on the chest for cough and flu symptoms.It is known to be effective in the treatment of colic in babies,just rub the Nigella oil on the tummy.
It is used as a conditioner for the hair and a skin moisturizer. When buying Nigella oil, you should make sure that it is 100% cold pressed with no additives.