What can I substitute for nigella seeds?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for nigella seeds?” with an in-depth analysis of the nigella seeds, what are their uses, for which purpose we can use them, and what are the possible substitutes for nigella seeds which can be used when nigella seeds are out of hand.

What can I substitute for nigella seeds?

Nigella seeds can be best substituted with sesame seeds that may be of two types black sesame seed or white sesame seed, cumin seeds, celery seeds, cumin powder, oregano, onion, caraway seeds, and fennel seeds.

We can use these substituted products for nigella seeds when nigella seeds are not available. 

Nigella seeds

Nigella seeds are also known as kalonji, black seeds, Nigella Sativa, and charnushka. Nigella seeds are deep black which has a strong aroma with a sharp flavour. The nature of spice is flexible and versatile, due to this property it can be used in many dishes.

It may have a smoky, slightly bitter, nutty flavour and also with a slightly sweet taste which resembles thyme and also has a similar shade of liquorice.

How can we use nigella seeds?

Nigella seeds can be used differently in different recipes, for instance, these can be used as a sprinkle instead of black pepper on ripe tomatoes, or can be mixed with other ingredients such as thyme for making a good batter that can be added to the baked chicken or in vegetables which are cooked as a slow-roasted mechanism. 

Nigella seeds can also be mixed with other seeds that may be fennel, cumin, mustard, and fenugreek. This mixture is a known choice in Indian cuisine. It is also served as a topping in savoury dishes.

Substitutes for nigella seeds

Nigella seeds or black seeds can be replaced by many other products in case we are going short with the nigella seeds. Following are some of the alternatives for nigella seeds:

Black sesame seeds

Black sesame seeds are a good alternative to nigella seeds. Both these seeds, nigella and black sesame are mostly used in cuisines of the middle eastern region. Both seeds can be replaced without making a huge difference. 

Black sesame seeds look perfect for the topping of naan bread, but sometimes it seems that black sesame seeds work perfectly for cooked dishes. If we look for the quantity of black sesame seed then the equal content of both these seeds can be used in cooking.

White sesame seeds

If black sesame seeds are not available in place of nigella seeds then white sesame seeds are a good option. White sesame seeds also have a similar taste to nigella seeds. As its colour is white, then we can assume that it is safe for our healthy digestive tract as with the eyes. 

It can be used as a sprinkle on top of the food that may be cooked, roasted, or baked. Food may be of different types such as bread, burger buns, and cooked food. 

In quantity, both white sesame seeds and nigella seeds should be used in equal content. Or their content could be adjusted according to the taste and flavour of the recipe, but sometimes it is used for the presentation of the recipes then its content should be adjusted according to the choice.

Celery seeds

Celery seeds are another alternative seed for nigella seeds. Celery seeds are formed generally from wild celery. In many cases, in recipes where you have no nigella seeds to complete the recipe of your dish then you can call for celery seeds. 

The taste of nigella seeds is a little bit lighter in flavour than the celery seed’s taste. As celery seeds have a quite bitter taste, to make them a good alternative for nigella seeds, they can be mixed with some lemon juice and onion powder to make a good replacement. This is the perfect tip for making the celery seeds equal to the nigella seeds.

Celery seeds are available in a whole form or the finely grounded form in the supermarkets, but it is mostly recommended as a whole celery seed best over the ground celery.

Cumin seeds

Black cumin is another form of nigella seeds. It is extracted from the Nigella Sativa. They are different in texture but have a quiet resemblance to the taste of the nigella seeds. So, it can be replaced with nigella seeds.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What can I substitute for nigella seeds?” with an in-depth analysis of the nigella seeds, what are their uses, for which purpose we can use them, and what are the possible substitutes for nigella seeds which can be used when nigella seeds are out of hand.

References

https://www.allspicerack.com/blogs/inspiration-1/black-seed-nigella-sativa-kalonji

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.