(Almost) Instant Magic: Homemade Nigella Seed Crackers

“Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.”  Michael Pollan

Homemade crackers? Given the fact that picking up a packet of absolutely acceptable crackers at the any grocery store is possible and simple, making crackers at home seems to be an unnecessary, time-consuming and thankless act. In reality, however, crackers are ridiculously easy to prepare. The dough is mixed in about a minute, and adding on rolling, cutting, and baking these tasty little snapping treats, the entire process takes about 45 minutes. The recipe is short, quick and it is more difficult to spoil it then to execute it right as the various combinations of cracker thicknesses, toppings, and baking times all create different but “cracking good” crackers.

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The tiny,still extremely powerful Nigella seed is a very healthy cracker topping option. The seeds of the annual flowering plant, Nigella Sativa, have been respected for their healing properties since time immemorial, the earliest record of its cultivation and use originating from ancient Egypt, and it was found in Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb, dating back to approximately 3,300 years ago. The seeds can heal the chemical weapon poisoned body, stimulate regeneration of the dying beta cells. It is referred to as Roman coriander, black sesame, black cumin, black caraway, onion seed or black seed. In Arabic cultures, black cumin is known as Habbatul barakah, meaning the “seed of blessing.” It is also believed that the Islamic prophet Mohammed said of it that it is “a remedy for all diseases except death.” Listing just a couple of benefits, Nigella seeds are analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-fungal, anti-hypertensive, antioxidant, antiviral and bronchodilators. Many of black cumin’s traditionally ascribed health benefits have been thoroughly confirmed in the biomedical literature through thorough research.

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Ingredients
300 g white flour
75 g whole wheat flour
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
250 ml water
Topping: 3 tbsp Nigella seeds, 1 tbsp linseed, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions
Heat the oven to 200° C. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then add the oil and water. Stir until a soft, sticky dough is formed and all the flour is incorporated. Let it rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour, place dough on it and pat it into a thick square with hands. Working from the center of the dough out, roll the dough into a very thin rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough very lightly with water. Combine the seeds, salt, spices in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into individual crackers. Transfer crackers to baking sheet and prick with fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are browned.

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“Fruits doesn’t fall far from the tree but there seeds can go places and wherever they go by their virtues they leave their traces.” Indira Mukhopadhyay

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