Our Al Baraka Nigella Seeds are grown by a family of farmers in Fayoum, an ancient agricultural community in central Egypt. Nigella (a member of the buttercup family) has been used for flavor and health for all of recorded history. Perfect for baking and cheesemaking, nigella adds a savory, roasty flavor and aroma. Sprinkle on breads and savory pastries, grind for spice blends or make a paste like tahini.
The Arabic name of nigella seeds is Habat Al Baraka (Al Baraka means "blessed" and "habat" means seed).
- Lightly toast them to release essential oils and throw them whole into curries, soups or sauces
- Sprinkle on top of breads or pastries, or incorporate them in bread doughs and batters for added flavor and crunchy texture
- Add them to pickles, relishes, or chutneys
Nigella sativa seeds were said to have been found in King Tut’s tomb and have been used for thousands of years as a preservative, spice, and medicine. Our nigella seeds are sourced from an organic farm in central Egypt, where ancient canal systems divert the Nile’s waters to irrigate the fields. The seeds are harvested from capsules inside the Nigella sativa (an herbaceous annual flowering plant) when they bloom in the summer, and are then sun-dried.
We connected with the farmers through our partnership with Zaid of Norwich Meadows Farm. Every year, Zaid works with a crew of highly skilled Egyptian farmers who come to his farm in upstate New York to grow organic vegetables using a specific system of high tunnels and intercropping. The vegetables that Zaid grows with this group of farmers are stunning, and these same farmers have their own farms in Egypt, where they grow ancient varietals of desert-adapted spices that rely on seasonal flooding from the Nile River as the primary source of water. Their farms produce this and our other Egyptian spices.