Black caraway is a herbaceous plant of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup or crowfoot) family that originated in East Asia in the fertile zone where agriculture and the domestication of many species began. Its culinary use is widespread in the Middle East, India and in some countries on the African Mediterranean coast.
The first references to this plant are found in Ancient Egypt. During archaeological excavations, the seeds were discovered in various tombs, as an indispensable element in the transition of the deceased to a new life. Today, black caraway is still widely cultivated in Egypt. The plant has a tall erect stem, and its flowers are delicately bluish in color, similar to those of love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), to which it is related. It forms capsules with black seeds that resemble sesame seeds in shape and have a unique flavor. In Morocco, for example, black caraway is used to make traditional breads, often combined with poppy seeds and white sesame seeds. It is also applied in numerous countries in cooking, for example raw or roasted in salads, but also crushed in stews or sauces.