The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Paean to Charnushka (AKA Nigella Sativa, Onion seed, Kaloji)

HeidiH's picture

Paean to Charnushka (AKA Nigella Sativa, Onion seed, Kaloji)

I had never head of Charnushka or Nigella seeds until ITJB so, being the curious type, I ordered some ... and now I'm hooked!

What a wonderful surprise.  These little seeds that look like undersized black sesame taste of black pepper, thyme, onion and I don't know what else.  They are wonderful on top of rolls.  I got some cheaply from but I'm sure other places like Penzey's have them.

Glue them on with egg wash and it's a great way to perk up a plain chewy roll. 


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified) would be Charnuska seed.

I love them much. Rye bread and crackers are a good spot for them too. Potent little embryos! I've learned to reduce the Charnuska seed by 20x and the caraway seed by 1000x if I want to taste the rye in rye bread.

hanseata's picture

I never tried anything with Nigella seeds before - I thought Nigella was just a beautiful blue flower in my garden.

Merry Christmas


FoodFascist's picture

they are widely used in Indian cuisine, naan bread often comes with a few of these seeds baked into the dough. I never knew the name. Mind Indian cooking is generally very liberal with spices but these seeds are used sparingly (I think).

joyfulbaker's picture

black sesame seeds?


mrfrost's picture

Definitely different tastes.

You can add black caraway to the names that the nigella seeds are sold as. That is how mine are labeled.

HeidiH's picture

I have both black sesame and nigella and they are definitely different.  The nigella are smaller in size but much BIGGER in taste.  They have a spiciness to them  -- really like black pepper and thyme.