Ajwain Seed Profile
Also known as
Carum copticum, Egyptian Anise, Coptic Caraway, Bishop's Weed
Ajwain is a small gray green seed that comes from a small annual shrub with many branches of small feather-like leaves. It was originally from the Eastern Mediterranean, but is now mostly cultivated along river banks in Central Asia, India, and much of Egypt.
The seeds are used in cooking and as the main source of the essential oil Thymol.
The seeds are used in all types of Middle Eastern and Indian cooking usually in their whole form.
Ajwain seed is commonly used as a spice in African cuisine, lending a flavor that is savory and somewhat bitter. Much of the flavor from the seeds comes from thymol, which is also an active constituent in thyme. The seeds add balance to sweet soups and stews, and are said to lessen the gaseous effects of beans. Ajwain goes well with chicken, fish, legumes, and in curries, and may be combined with turmeric, paprika, cumin, fennel and coriander.
Ajwain seeds are associated with Ayurvedic tradition, and are used as a digestive aid as well as for minor stomach complaints.
The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices by Tony Hill (pg. 21-23)
There are no known precautions to be taken when using the Ajwain seed for culinary purposes.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.