Black Cumin (Bunium persicum) is a plant in the family Apiaceae (parsley family). Known as black cumin because of the shape of the seed.
Seeds are used as a culinary spice in Northern India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran.
The seed’s aroma is earthy and heavy. On frying or cooking, the taste changes to nutty. Shahi jeera is used in small amounts because of its exotic, flowery flavor. It is often confused with jeera (regular cumin) and kalonji (Nigella). It's darker and sweeter than ordinary cumin. To bring out its nutty flavor, it helps to toast the seeds briefly before using them.
Local names for the spice are Kala Jeera or shahi jeera.
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