Black Cumin Seed
Nigella sativa is the scientific name for the plant on which black cumin seeds grow, and it is a member of the buttercup family. They are not related to the common cooking herb, cumin, from the Cuminum cyminum plant, although the two look similar. Black cumin seeds are very dark, thin, and crescent shaped when whole. They are available for cooking use in many Middle Eastern and Indian supply stores, but seeds designated for cooking may not be as potent or as pure as seeds intended for medicinal use. In some regional cuisines, they are also used in cooking, as they add a unique nutty flavor to food and appear to have health benefits.