What is kalonji and how is it used?

by Chris
(Los Angeles, USA)

Hi Manila,

I wanted to know what is kalonji? In what Indian dishes is it used? Thanks.

Answer :-

Hi Chris,

Kalonji is a Hindi name for the spice onion seeds, also known as nigella seeds. These are small black color seeds, usually used for tempering a wide number of Indian dishes both vegetarian and non vegetarian. It gives a very unique flavor to a dish.

There is a masala called 'panch poran' or 'achar masala', which comprises of kalonji, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cumin, fenugreek seeds and chilies. This masala is used in making pickles and other recipes.

Use a small quantity of these seeds, along with other spices. A teaspoon should be good enough for tempering. The way to use them is, heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan, add these seeds. Saute on a low flame for 30 seconds and proceed with sauteing the onions etc.

Hope this helps.


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