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 as ‘Kashmir 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.