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Nigella sativa (also refered to as black caraway, black cumin, nigella, and kalonji) is an annual flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae, native to south and southwest Asia. The fruit is a large and inflated capsule composed of three to seven united follicles, each containing numerous seeds which are used as spice, sometimes as a replacement for black cumin.
Nigella can be used as a "pepper" in recipes with pod fruit, vegetables, salads, and poultry. In some cultures, the black seeds are used to flavor bread products, and are used as part of the spice mixture panch phoron (meaning a mixture of five spices) and alone in many recipes in Bengali cuisine and most recognizably in naan. Nigella is also used in Armenian string cheese, a braided string cheese called majdouleh or majdouli in the Middle East.