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Nigella (nigella damascena)

A tall perennial plant, native to Southern Europe, with pretty sky-blue or white flowers, that produce hard black seeds with a peppery taste. These can be used as a spice. It"s also known as 'Love-in-the-mist', in England, 'kalonji' in India and 'si jah-davels' in parts of The Middle East.

It's an ingredient of the Bengali (rather than the Chinese) five-spice powder called 'panch phoron' - which also includes cumin, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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