Real World Gardener Spice It Up with Nigella

December 21st, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with Ian Hemphill from



Have you ever grown a blue flowering annual called Love in the Mist?

In fact this cottage garden plant (Nigella damascenea flowers in blue pink or white.


It’s very pretty and makes just as pretty seed heads after the flowers finish. It’s one of these plants that you don’t have to keep cutting of the flowers because it looks great through all stages of growth.


But there's something else,   a very closely related cousin, has seeds that you can use in cooking.

So can you use the seeds of the cottage garden plant in your cooking as well?

 proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.comSometimes also called Devil in the bush and Black cumin, the last name  we now know, is completely incorrect.

If you bit into Nigella seed you'll find it's extremely hard with a metallic taste and a back note of mint.

Ian says seed spices have an affiliation with carbohydrates.

They can be used in a wide range of dishes, and are most popular in Indian cuisine.

Nigella seeds are dry roasted in India and used on flatbreads like naan and are particularly good with potatoes and root vegetables.

why not try a light sprinkling of Nigella seeds over steamed rice for an instant flavour enhancer.


They are also one of the five spices that make up panch pora, a spice mixture from Bengal.

Some people use oil from nigella seeds as an antioxidant and for upset stomach.

If you’re wanting to use the seeds from the annual Nigella for cooking, the seeds can be harvested by placing the pods in a paper bag; allow them to dry out completely, then rub the paper bag in your hands to release the black Nigella seeds.

Next cut the corner of the bag and retrieve the seeds with use of a sieve. Make sure that the black nigella seeds are completely dry then store in an airtight container.

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