Tukmuria or subja(subia) seeds grow on a variety of basil plant found wild all over India. The plant grows to a height of 1m. The flowers grow in slender spikes and give way to tiny seeds. These dry on the plant or are dried in the sun. The seeds are tiny black and shaped like a tear drop.
They need to be soaked for between 15 and 30 minutes in warm (not hot!) water before use.
While soaking they develop a whitish grey bloom and the skin swells up, looking a bit furry. The outer coating is translucent and pale grey so the black seed within can be easily seen. Once they get to this stage they are ready to be eaten.
They are slightly nutty but their charm lies in having a strangely pleasant combination of contrasting textures. The outer fur is slippery and soft whereas the centre is crunchy.
Find these adorable seeds at Indian mini-markets or shops, and use them in Bombay crush