Botanically known as nigella sativa
Nigella sativa has been used as a herbal remedy and as a culinary condiment for thousands of years. It is commonly known as cumin seed, black caraway or fennel flower in western countries. And kalonji (from Hindi-Urdu). In Arabic countries, it is habbat-as-sawda or habbat ul barakah (The Blessed Seed). It is schwarzkummel in Germany, hak jung chou in China and cörek otu in Turkey.
Other names for black seed are charnushka, ajenuz, aranuel, baraka, black sesame, nutmeg flower and roman coriander. It is also called cheveux de vénus, cominho negro, comino negro, cumin noir, cyah dane, fitch, graine de nigelle, graine noire, habatul sauda, kalajaji, kalajira la grainer noire, love in a mist, mugrela, nielle, nigelle de crête, nigelle cultivée, poivrette, siyah dane, shoniz, small fennel, toute épice, ketzah and upakuncika.
Nigella seeds have a pungent aroma and its taste has notes of onion, oregano, and black pepper. In India and Pakistan, it is used in a variety of curries including achar gosht and naan. Black seed is also drunk with milk to boost immunity and strength in these regions.