Nigella Seed isn’t something I grew up with. Rather it was one of those “Superfoods” I read about, but never saw in the spice aisle. While perusing a gourmet food store in Healdsburg, CA I found a tin of it and brought it home to discover.
The seeds are quite tiny and are an intense black. They don’t seem to be pungent just holding them, but when chewed I find that they have a menthol/sesame seed mix of flavors. This really lends them to East Indian cooking.
Where they do find there way into American fare is through crackers and baked goods. Sometimes in the “Everything” breads or crackers the little Nigella will be muscling it way in there to add its spike of flavor.
The reputed health benefits are mostly with your digestion, to aid and settle as well as lift your mood. The oil has been used for centuries for rashes, sores and generally nourish the skin.
For me, I’ll stick putting Nigella Seed with the breads, Indian food and occasional hit in a smoothy. It is a great time to pick up a small bottle to add to your winter baking routine.