You need to cook with nigella seeds. Start with this potato salad

This potato salad can serve as a main dish as well as a side.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Nigella seeds look like black sesame seeds, but taste like a mix of fried onions and oregano. Sometimes labeled kalonji, calonji or onion seeds, they add an herbaceous fragrance and light crackly crunch to any dish. Here, they echo the onion-y freshness of chives in a warm potato salad and the savory richness of a mustard vinaigrette. While this salad tastes best warm, leftovers straight from the fridge are delicious too.

Nigella seed potato salad
Nigella seeds, sometimes labeled calonji, plus chives and a whole-grain mustard vinaigrette make this easy potato salad flavorful.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Warm Potato Salad With Nigella Seeds

30 minutes. Serves 8.


  • 3 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • ¼ cup minced chives


  1. If the potatoes are the size of ping-pong balls, halve them. If they’re much larger, quarter them so that all the potato chunks are about the same size. Put the cut potatoes in a large saucepan and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, oil and mustard in a large bowl until well-blended.
  3. Drain the potatoes, shake gently in the colander to dry, then pour into the bowl with the dressing. Fold gently until evenly coated. Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and chives, then fold again until well mixed.