Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Shahi Jeera

English Name: Black Cumin

Common Indian Name (Hindi): Kala Jeera / Shahi Jeera

  • Black Cumin (Bunium persicum) is a plant in the family Apiaceae (parsley family). Known as black cumin because of the shape of the seed.
  • Seeds are used as a culinary spice in Northern India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.
  • The seed’s aroma is earthy and heavy, not pleasant at all. On frying or cooking, the taste changes to nutty. Kala jeera is used in small amounts because of its exotic, flowery flavor. It is often confused with jeera (regular cumin) and kalonji (Nigella). It's darker and sweeter than ordinary cumin. To bring out its nutty flavor, it helps to toast the seeds briefly before using them.
  • Local names for the spice are Kala Jeera (meaning ‘black cumin’) or shahi jeera (meaning imperial cumin’) in Hindi. It is called as zireh kuhi, meaning wild cumin in Persian and as siyoh dona meaning black seed in Tajiki. It is practically unknown outside these areas. Kashmiris call it asKashmir zireh’ or ‘Koshur zur’.
  • Black Cumin Seed help in Digestion, Psoriasis, Eczema, Diarrhea, Colic, Asthma, Allergies, Cough, and Flu.
  • They are used as a spice in breads especially rye bread, which is denser because of the yeast-killing properties of the essential oil, limonene.


Leslie Lim said...

This is really an interesting topic. Congratulations to the writer. I'm sure a lot of readers having fun reading your post. Hoping to read more post from you in the future. Thank you and God bless!


Ruma Sen said...

Thanks for your post. I was cooking biriyani and decides to taste shahi jeera or shah jeera on its own. I wasn't pleased as it leaves a bitter after taste in the mouth. Well, I'm going ahead and using it anyway since Biriyani demands this spice.