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Can anyone explain the difference between nigella and black cumin? I've found some recipes that say they are the same thing, but on my quick google search I found pages that say they are different. Any thoughts?

asked by lifestooshort over 6 years ago

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5 answers 21040 views
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hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

they are 2 different things. here's some good info on each.
http://www.worldspice.com...
http://www.worldspice.com...

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367d3166 a466 4b67 a123 677d02f016b1  ls
added over 6 years ago

nigella, sometimes called black onion seeds, have a bitterness like mustard; black cumin is shaped more like white cumin and has a richer flavor

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added over 6 years ago

Wow, I though I knew the answer to this one, but upon googling there seem to be many meanings of "black cumin". I've never heard nigella (botanical name Nigella sativa) called black cumin, but *according to wikipedia* it happens. I've bought nigella labeled kalonji, the Hindi name. I always assumed black cumin meant the thinner, darker cumin/jeera (botanical name Bunium persicum) available at Indian groceries as opposed to standard cumin, which is fatter and tanner (botanical name Cuminum cyminum). I guess this is the sort of confusion we get when we start renaming ingredients, like calling cilantro "Chinese parsley".

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766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added over 6 years ago

I find it's often easier to look for black cumin under its Hindi name, kala jeera. In my experience, most spice markets label it "kala jeera," probably to keep away from the confusion of a purely descriptive name.

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766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added over 6 years ago

I find it's often easier to look for black cumin under its Hindi name, kala jeera. In my experience, most spice markets label it "kala jeera," probably to keep away from the confusion of a purely descriptive name.

Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)

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