Nigella seeds are very famous across their world for their distinctive aroma and various health benefits. Its Asian name is Kalonji or Kalojeera. It is used as an alternate for black cumin sometimes, but it is different from black cumin in taste and aroma.
Nigella is small black seeds used as a spice or for seasoning of dishes. It is a major spice in Indian cuisine. People in Middle Eastern countries use this spice in making their curries, chutneys, and pickles, and the result is always awesome. As Nigella is a dry spice, so it rarely goes bad. If you store this spice properly, you will get the maximum from it.
How to Store Nigella?
Whether you want to temper your curry or make your chicken bread pretty, Nigella will work for it. Yes, this spice is widely used for toppings in baking bread too. If you have bought this spice in bulk by chance, and now you wonder how to deal with it. Don’t worry because you are in the right place. In this article, you will learn all about Nigella’s shelf life and storage methods. You can store Nigella by following methods.
In a Dry and Cool spot
You can store Nigella anywhere in your kitchen where other spices are stored. The spot should be cool and dry. Otherwise, your spice may get mold and go bad. The mold growth appears because of moisture intact with spice.
In Airtight Glass or Plastic jars
The proper way to store the spices is in glass or plastic jars. The key is that the jars should be airtight. The spices should not be exposed to air, or else they will get mushy and soggy. Also, they lose their aroma over time.
Away from Heat sources
Heat sources are another cause of turning spices like nigella seeds bad. Direct sunlight and heat from your kitchen stove can make your spice go soggy and rotten. You will not enjoy the fresh texture of nigella seeds as a result.
In the Refrigerator
You can also keep your spices in the refrigerator. They will also stay good in the fridge. You can use magnetic jars for storage that are in fashion nowadays. They stick to the top of the shelves and occupy less space. Ensure that the jars you are using are airtight, and you will get the maximum from the nigella spice.
Can you Freeze Nigella?
Freezing nigella is fine if you have a very big amount of spice. Freezing goes well for large backup supplies of the spice. Otherwise, there is no need to freeze spices. This is because the spices already have very long shelf lives.
If you have a short amount of it, freezing the Nigella is bad because the spice will stick to each other. On every use, you would have to separate the desired amount. Also, freezing causes unwanted moisture to grow in the jars of the spices.
If you want to freeze a large amount of spice, you should use tightly sealed jars or containers for it. There should be no way for the low temperature to interact with the spice. You can use ziplocked freezer bags or airtight jars or containers for this purpose.
How long does Nigella last?
Spices like nigella seeds have very long shelf lives. As long as they are stored well, they will stay in their best condition. So, all you have to do is store the nigella seeds properly to get the maximum from them.
When we talk about the shelf life of unopened packets of the spice, the last 6 months past their due date. And if they are stored with all precautions, you can use them even after their best date. On the other hand, opened packets of Nigella stay good for up to 2 to 3 years if stored properly.
The shelf life of refrigerated Nigella and that of keeping in the pantry does not differ a lot. The refrigerated nigella seeds also last for 2 to 3 years inside the fridge. If they meet unfavorable conditions like moisture and stuff, then they may go bad earlier. Frozen spices can stay good for 3 years maximum. They last longer than the refrigerated ones.
How to tell if Nigella is Bad?
The spices, when bad, go soggy and mushy. The same is the case with Nigella. Bad seeds of Nigella show the following signs and symptoms.
- The seeds of the nigella spice go soggy and watery. This happens when the spice gets interacted with moisture and humidity.
- Also, you may see mold growth on the spice when it turns bad. You should toss the spice out in that condition.
- The spice goes soggy and soft when it is placed near heat sources. The texture and taste do not remain the same as a result.
- Also, it is not recommended to consume the nigella seeds if they are very old and do not give the same taste and aroma.