Black Cumin

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Black Cumin

Botanical name:
Nigella sativa L.

Botanical family:
Crowfoot plants

Mediterranean area, West Asia


spice shape:

initially bitter, later slightly hot and spicy

spicy, caraway

For vegetables, curry dishes, soups and for seasoning bread (Turkish flat bread)

When grated, black cumin develops a spicy, caraway-like aroma. In taste, however, it is bitter at first and then slightly hot and spicy. Particularly in the countries of the Near East and Turkey, black cumin seed is often used in combination with sesame to season bread. Nevertheless, it is also suitable for other baked goods, desserts as well as for quark, cheese and for preparing sauces. Black cumin is also suitable for refining meat and fish dishes as well as for vegetables and salads.

In India, black cumin is added unground to pulses and vegetables. It can be roasted dry beforehand, which enhances its taste and aroma.

Arabic bread: Sprinkle 1/2 packet of yeast with 1 teaspoon of salt over 500 g of flour. Add enough water so that a tough dough is formed when mixing. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Then place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise to double its size (takes about 1 1/2 hours). Divide the dough into two halves and form a round loaf in each half. Leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Spread generously with olive oil and sprinkle with black cumin. Bake in the preheated oven at 200° for 8-10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160° for another 15-20 minutes.

Usage: Black cumin is a component of many Indian spice mixtures, such as the Bengal Pnach Phoron.

The annual plant grows between 30 and 60 cm high. The stems are single or branched, more or less hairy. The triple pinnately lobed leaves have lanceolate to linear sections. The flowers are single and terminal and are very rich in nectar. Their coloration is milk-white or greenish-white, sometimes even bluish-white. The flowering time is from July to August.

Home & Spread:
The home of the black cumin is the Mediterranean area as well as Western Asia.

cultivation & extraction:
The harvesting of the black caraway is only done when the capsules turn brown. In terms of time, usually in mid-August. Harvesting is done either by combine threshing or mowing on swath and threshing after a few days of post-maturing and drying. In the trade, black cumin is usually sold whole. However, it is also available ground.

Already in ancient times, Egyptians and Arabs cultivated the black seed. At that time, it served as a spice on the one hand and as a remedy on the other. Only later was it introduced into Europe.ümmel

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