When rubbed, Nigella seeds have a herbaceous aroma like thyme and oregano. Their taste is nutty, earthy, peppery and penetrating and may be enhanced by dry-frying for a minute or two. Nigella is used in bread-making in India and throughout south west Asia and in cheese-making in Russia, Poland, Turkey and the Balkan region. In Iran it is a popular pickling spice for fruit and vegetables and in India they are included in pilafs and kormas. Nigella also works well as a flavouring for roasted potatoes and root vegetables.