Nigella seed comes from the seeds of the flowering plant Nigella sativa. It is sometimes referred to by other names, such as black cumin, black onion seed, and black sesame seed, which can lead to some confusion, as nigella is not related to any of these. Rather, it's a member of the Ranunculaceae family, which also includes flowers such as the buttercup and delphinium.
Nigella seeds have a strong aroma and a flavor profile that has notes of onion, oregano, and black pepper.
Nigella seeds are found frequently in Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines. Often part of curries and lentil dishes alike, Nigella seeds also pair well with root vegetable dishes as well as squashes such as spiced butternut squash.