Ajwain (noun.) in English Carom seeds or Trachyspermum ammi is used in South Asian cooking for its thyme like flavours. Caraway is a biennial plant native to Europe and Asia and is grown for seeds that are slightly green or brown and have a pungent bitter taste. The herb is like cumin seeds that have a unique taste and aroma, which appears similar to thyme.

Carom seeds are nutritious, rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has been linked to traditional Indian medicinal practices and it is often used as a part of tadka, which means, tempering. In Indian cooking - oil is heated and then very hot whole spices like carom seeds are added and fried to create a sautéing base called chaunk. 

The herb has a strong dominant flavour and is added to lentils (tarka daal), vegetables (saag aloo, bhindi bhaji) and pickles. In Afghanistan, it is used in baking bread and biscuits.


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