Cooking Recipes Catalogue

Kalonji, also known as black onion seed or nigella is a small black seed similar in appearance to poppy seed, but much different in flavor. Although most commonly found in Indian cooking, kalonji was found in the spice gardens of monasteries during the Middle Ages in Western Europe. At that time, the seeds were roasted, wrapped in cloth, and used in a poultice believed to restore the sense of smell. In the Northern part of India, kalonji are baked into many of the breads (naan). The peppery taste is often used to flavor dals (Indian legume dishes) such as lentils or peas. Kalonji is also used in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine. Available in Indian and Mid-Eastern grocery stores, kalonji should be stored in a dry, cool cabinet, in airtight jars and out of direct light. They may keep for several months up to a year.