Common Name: Carom seeds/ Ajwain/Ajowan/Thymolseeds/Bishop's weeds
Botanical Name: TrachyspermumAmmi
Background and native countries:
Carom seeds are thought to have originated in Egypt, Persia (Iran), Asia minor and Seychelles where it was used as a common medicine. Currently, the main cultivator of this plant is India followed by Persia, Egypt, the Middle East and North African countries.
Taste and Aroma:
Ajwain is tiny oval-shaped highly aromatic seeds with a bitter and pungent taste. Carom seed looks like cumin seed but its smell and taste profile closely resembles thyme. The main flavour is similar to anise and oregano, which comes from thymol (essential oil). The subtle taste and complex tempting aroma of these miraculous cure seed tend to conquer the flavour of any dish. Carom seeds are an ideal spice choice when it comes to enhancing the flavour of any cuisine and savoury dishes.
Carom seed is one of the key spices that are extensively used in a variety of dishes. It is popular for its dominating delicious aroma therefore a very small quantity of it can give a real kick to savoury dishes. In cooking, ajwain is mainly used
- To boost the flavour of the meat
- For tempering vegetables, pulses and curries
- As a preservative in chutneys, pickles and jams
- For seasoning samosa shells, bread, pastries and fried snacks
- In soothing herbal teas and hot beverages
- As a part of chaunk (Tadka) for seducing savoury smell
- For making tasty chapatti and flaky flatbread by adding in the dough
Ajwain is incredibly nutritious and long been used in traditional Indian medicine practices. Ajwain or carom seeds have various important medicinal properties such as antipyretic, antispasmodic, antitussive,anti-parasitic, antimicrobial with cardio vasodilator, liver protection, urogenital, gastrointestinal and lipid(Cholesterol)-lowering effects. Therefore, this spice has a great therapeutic value in treating various disorders.
Medical and herbal uses:
Ajwain has an ancient reputation as ayurvedic medicine. It is mainly use to treat gastric indigestion, obesity, flatulence, belching, migraine (Headache), constipation, arthritis, asthma, irregular menses and viral infection.