Nigella seeds have a mild peppery flavor, and can be used as a substitute for the spice. Here, chef Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill uses them to season a classic spread.
Photography: Rob Tannenbaum
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, February 2012
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon nigella seeds
2 1/2 cups finely chopped sweet onions
8 shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and nigella seeds and cook for 1 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and add onion and shallots. Add sugar and season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Transfer caramelized onion mixture to the jar of a blender and add yogurt, sour cream, grainy mustard, lime juice, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Fold in reserved nigella seeds and serve.