Also known as nigella, black caraway, black onion seed or kalonji, the flavor of charnushka can be described as smoky, nutty and peppery. Charnushka is native to western Asia and Southern Europe where it is cultivated and grows in the wild.Charnushka is believed to be an insect repellant.
In the Middle East it’s used for breads, in India for spiced vegetables and curries. At Savory we use charnushka in our Bengal Bay (Panch Phoron). Cooks from India usually dry-roast or fry the seeds to bring out their full flavor before sprinkling them on vegetarian dishes and salads. Try experimenting with charnushka; it combines well with allspice, coriander, savory and thyme.