Black cumin is physically leaner than classic cumin seeds and is very dark brown, almost black in colour. It has a fresh, camphor-like, herbal fragrance, with vaguely smoky notes. The taste is reminiscent of cumin and caraway.
Black cumin is used in numerous Northern Indian, Pakistani and Iranian dishes. It is also popular in some Central Asian and North African countries. Black cumin blends well with meats such as lamb, as well as with rich, butter-based sauces or yogurt and, rice dishes such as Biryani. Dry roasted, it can be used as a finishing touch on a simple tomato, olive oil salad, on grilled meats or sprinkled on home-made hummus.