What is Kalonji?
Kalonji is a herb, producing blue flowers and black seeds, from which Kalonji oil is extracted.The half meter bush is, in fact, originated in Turkey and Italy.Kalonji black seeds are being eaten for centuries in the Gulf countries, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.It is abundantly found in these areas. Kalonji oil is used in food in many parts of the world, especially the Middle-East. The plant is given more importance in the Middle-East and Muslim world as Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.) said that Kalonji, the black granules is the remedy for all diseases except death, according to Hazrat Abu Hurerah (R. A). Kalonji are small black seeds, also known as nigella seeds.Kalonji seeds are about the same size as sesame seeds, though they have a more triangular instead of oval shape.
Kalonji Medicinal Composition
The seeds of Nigella sativa have many chemical compositions.
- Volatile oil: 1.5%
- Non Volatile Oil: 37.5%
- Albumen Sugar
- Organic acids
Kalonji in Different Languages
Kalonji is found throughout India. Kalonji is known by different names in different languages. In English, Kalonji is known as Samal Fennel, the Hindi name of Kalonji is Kalonji or Mangralia; Kalonji is known Mogrel in Bengali, and in Gujarati it is called Kalonji. In Malayalam, Kalonji’s name is Ell or Karum Jiragam and in Telugu it is called నల్ల సీడ్ Nalla sīḍ.
The seeds are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The dry-roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste like a combination of onions, black pepper and oregano, and have a bitterness to them like mustard seeds. It can be used as a “pepper” in recipes with pod fruit, vegetables, salads and poultry. Nigella seeds are also used in the dough of salty snacks like ‘ Samosa’ , ‘ Kachori’ , ‘Namkeen’ and in Indian ‘ Nan’.They may be added to any type of curry or stew, and to dal/Lentils. Kalongi /Nigella, little black seeds are appriciated for their nutlike, somewhat peppery taste. To make this taste most evident, kalonji may be roasted in a pan before using. Nigella is an essential ingredient in the Bengal mix of five whole spice seeds known as panch phora or panch puran. Added to cooking oil, the seeds impart a distinctive flavour. Nigella is also used for sprinkling over the popular bread, naan, and in rice and some curries.
Health Benefits of Black Seeds
Type 2 diabetes – Researchers found that just two grams daily of black seed could result in reduced fasting blood sugar levels, along with decreased insulin resistance, and increased beta-cell function in the pancreas.
Epilepsy – Published in Medical Science Monitor, one study found black seed to be effective at reducing the frequency of seizures in children who resisted conventional treatment. Black seed indeed has anti-convulsive properties.
Colon Cancer – In cell studies, black seed has been found to have anti-cancer properties, inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells specifically. In one animal study, the seed was able to fight colon cancer in rats successfully with no observable side effects. The same obviously can’t be said for conventional cancer treatments.
MRSA – The deadly and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known commonly as MRSA responded favorably to treatment with black seed in this study from the University of Health Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan
Protection Against Heart Attack Damage – An extract from black seed has been shown to possess heart-protective qualities, dampening damages associated with heart attacks and boosting overall heart health.
These can be kept in airtight containers.
Nigella seeds lose their flavor in course of time so it is advisable to keep a note of its packaging date.
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- Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
- Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
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