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Nigella Seeds for Culinary Use?

enilorac2enilorac2 Suffolk CoastPosts: 65

The recipe given for courgette chutney in this month's Secret Garden calls for Nigella Seeds. I know they can be bought in some supermarkets but am wondering if I can use those that I have harvested this year from my garden? I actually made the chutney, without Nigella Seeds, and it tastes very nice, but would really like to know if I can use those from my garden.   Can anyone advise, please?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,146

    Yes, harvest your own and use them for your next batch image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • enilorac2enilorac2 Suffolk CoastPosts: 65

    Thank you both. Inglezinho, does this mean that only Nigella sativa is safe to use for cooking, or that you can use all nigella seeds but non-sativa varieties will have not much taste? I so love the flowers and collect masses of seed so it would be useful to know what I can do with them other than grow them.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,146

    I have a friend who uses the seeds from Nigella damascena for cooking ... she and her family have survived so far image

    To check my information I found this 

    "... The seeds of Nigella sativa, kno wn as kalonji, black cumin (though this can also refer to Bunium persicum) black onion seedor just nigella, are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The dry roasted nigella seeds flavour curriesvegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste like oregano and have a bitterness to them like mustard-seeds. From my herb 'bible', the excellent "Herbs" - Roger Phillips & Nicky Foy (ISBN 978-0330307253), which I am inclined to trust:

    "[Nigella damascena - Medicinal herbs section] The seeds of this plant and a similar species have a strong aromatic odour and a spicy taste and are used as a condiment or spice to flavour cakes, breads and curries. In India they also put them amongst clothes and bed-linen to repel moths ans Indian doctors consider the seeds to be a stimulant, an aid to menstruation and milk flow in nursing mothers. They are also used medicinally to relieve digestive upsets and bowel complaints."

    I have seen uncited web references to damascena being toxic, but all references that cited sources referred to the seeds as edible. I would think it fine to use seeds from Nigella damascena in moderation, but if you use this herb in large quantities, buy commercially produced Nigella sativa seeds...."

    on this site  which I have always found to be reliable. 

    Of course, if you leave the seedheads on the plants your garden is likely to be invaded by goldfinches image

    Last edited: 10 August 2017 16:08:32

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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