Nigella Roasted Potatoes

Indian food all over the country is so varied that in spite of spending much of my childhood in India, I’m not really familiar with Bengali cooking. (Bengal is a state in East India bordering Bangladesh) I’ve eaten at a few Bengali friends homes but never given much thought to their unique spices.

Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at
Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at

Since starting Indiaphile, I’ve been researching the foods of India that I didn’t grow up with and I kept coming across a spice called Kalonji. When I finally looked it up I realized it is the same spice as nigella in English. This made me really curious since I had never even tasted nigella.

I went to the Indian store and bought a package of nigella. They look so much like black sesame seeds. I grabbed a pinch and tasted it. They had a nice pop and a smooth onion-y flavor.

I wanted to try them in a dish where I could really taste the spice. Potatoes seemed like the perfect fit since they are rather neutral in flavor and taste great with herbs and spices. I simply roasted some potatoes in garlic oil with some nigella. The result was amazing. I took them to my book club and they disappeared fast.

Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at
Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at
Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at
Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at
Nigella Roasted Potatoes recipe at

Nigella Roasted Potatoes

Simple sheet-pan roasted fingerling potatoes with nigella spice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: nigella
Servings: 4
Calories: 135kcal


  • 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes about 1 inch in diameter, cut into half or quarters if your potatoes are bigger (I used a mix of red, yellow and purple potatoes)
  • 1 ½ tsp nigella aka kalonji or onion seed
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and smashed with the side of knife
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/ 230 degrees Celsius.
  • In a small bowl, mix the smashed garlic cloves and oil. Let the garlic flavor the oil for about 10 minutes. This is a good time to scrub and rinse the potatoes.
  • Once the 10 minutes up, remove the garlic cloves from the oil and discard.
  • Toss the potatoes, oil, nigella, black pepper and salt into a large sheet pan. Mix well using your hands, making sure that the oil and spices are coating each potato. Massage the salt and spices into the potatoes for a few seconds.
  • Roast in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir about halfway through the cooking.


These potatoes are great served as an appetizer with some toothpicks or great as a side as well.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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