Nigella Seeds: 6 Different Ways To Use Kalonji In Daily Cooking

Beyond its culinary applications, kalonji is prized for its possible health advantages, as mentioned in WebMD, which include its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It has long been used to promote general health, help with digestion, and treat respiratory issues. Kalonji, whether as a spice or a dietary supplement, is still highly valued for its unique flavour and possible therapeutic benefits. 

Let us know about the different ways of using Kalonji in our daily cooking:

1. Bread Toppings: 

When used as bread toppings, kalonji enhances the flavour and texture of the bread by adding a pleasing crunch and a distinctly nutty, slightly bitter flavour. Often used in Indian breads such as naan, roti, or kulcha, kalonji seeds stick to the dough's surface and give it a lovely speckled look when baked. The gentle toasting of the seeds adds a faint smokiness and enhances the overall scent. This method of cooking not only enhances the bread's flavour profile but also demonstrates how versatile kalonji is in turning an ordinary staple into a fragrant and savoury treat.

Video Credit: YouTube/ Raks Kitchen

2. Tempering/Tadka: 

When kalonji is used for tempering (tadka), it adds a strong, slightly bitter flavour with a touch of spicy pepperiness. Its flavour enhances the overall savoury flavour of meals like dal or lentils. Despite their diminutive size, kalonji provides a delicious crunch to the dish. Because of its distinct taste and texture, which meld well with the cooked components to create a unique aromatic depth, this spice is especially well-suited for tempering. The robust and fragrant qualities of kalonji moderate the whole culinary experience, whether it is used in vegetable recipes or lentil-based curries.

3. Pickles and Chutneys: 

Black cumin seeds, called kalonji, give pickles and chutneys a unique flavour. Its strong, peppery, and slightly bitter flavour improves the profile as a whole. The crunchy, tiny pieces of kalonji in these condiments make for a pleasant contrast. Kalonji adds a distinct earthy note to pickles such as lime, mango, and mixed vegetable pickles. Its fragrant properties elevate the culinary experience and add depth and complexity to chutneys, especially those based on mint or coriander.

4. Spice Blend: 

Kalonji, sometimes referred to as black seed or Nigella sativa, gives spice mixtures a unique flavour. Its flavour is defined by a subtle, peppery bitterness that has oregano and onion undertones. The tiny, crisp texture of kalonji seeds gives food a wonderful snap when eaten. Additives like these enhance the overall profile of spice mixes by adding earthy and fragrant qualities to different curries. Kalonji's distinct flavour and crisp texture elevate cooking, making it a valuable addition to a variety of recipes and spice blends.

5. Stir Fries: 

Black seed, also known as kalonji, adds a strong, earthy flavour with a hint of nuttiness to stir-fries. When heated, the seeds release a taste that is slightly bitter and peppery, which improves the dish's overall flavour profile. The mild crunch that Kalonji gives to the texture of the stir-fry creates a delicious contrast with the softer meats or veggies. Because of its modest size, it blends in perfectly, adding depth without dominating the other ingredients. Because of this, kalonji adds a distinctive and adaptable flavour and texture to stir-fries.

6. Salad Dressing: 

Kalonji, sometimes referred to as black seed, gives salad dressings a characteristic earthy and slightly bitter flavour. Fresh greens and vegetables go well with its flavour profile, which amplifies the overall richness. The small seeds give the dressing a delicate crunch that improves its texture. Kalonji adds a distinct depth to salads when mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. For a light touch, it goes nicely with fresh veggies in a basic vinaigrette. This results in a tasty and well-balanced combination that goes well with a variety of salad items.