Ajowan Seeds – A Spice of India

Ajowan Seed 

Ajowan Seed - Carom or Ajwain Seed

Ajowan Seed – Carom or Ajwain Seed

Ajowan is also know by two other names – Carom and Ajwain Seeds.

To many this may be a new spice, have no fear, by the time you finish reading his post you will have a pretty good idea what this is.

Ajowan is a spice that is cherished in many cuisines. I have come to know this spice through learning to cook dishes from India.

You may have seen this listed as one the ingredients in dishes from North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Pakistan.

When you inhale the seeds aroma it will likely remind you of thyme and even anise seed.  This works well in many root vegetable dishes and legumes.

You may have even tasted Ajowan and not even known it. Especially if you have eaten at any Indian restaurants, and had Pakoras, Samosas, or even in some of the Flat Breads.  Curries are given a little zing when Ajowan seed is added.

Buying Ajowan…

When looking for this spice the best place to look would be an Indian Market, remember to look for it also under the other names of Carom and Ajwain.

In some cases depending on where you live you may even find it in your local supermarket.

Best way to buy Ajowan is  as a whole seed.  The size of the seeds will be about the same size as a celery seed.  Look to make sure the seeds are uniform and light brown in color.

The aroma you are looking for is one that will reminded you of Cumin and Thyme, very herbal.

The Ajowan seeds should keep for up to two years if stored in a airtight jar and away from moisture heat and extreme light.

Cooking With Ajowan…

There are many dishes that flavor-wise, benefit from Ajowan Seed.

  • Breads, biscuits
  • Curries
  • Lentil Stew
  • Stir-fry

When putting the seeds into a flat bread or biscuits they can be added whole and uncooked.  The baking of the Breads will soften the seed and release the aroma into the bread as its cooking.

If you are adding them to a curry or any other dish it is best to saute them in a little oil before adding any other ingredients into you dish.  This only needs to be done for a minute or two.

When a recipe calls for Ajowan to be ground before using, it is best to dry roast the seeds first to bring out the oils then grind them in your spice grinder

Here Are a Few Healthy Reason to Use Ajowan Seeds…

Sometimes nature provides and the Ajowan seed is no exception.  In many Indian households this is also used medicinally.

For example: if you have a headache, cough, cold, or allergies, simply steeping the seeds in warm water and drinking it, is said to relieve these symptoms. Heartburn can also be relieved by using this same method.

They are also known as a  natural pain reliever.  You can see the effects if you take a few seeds and chew them. You will start to taste a bitterness and than a warm feeling in you mouth.  Ajowan Seeds also contain Thymol that is released as you chew. This result in a numbing effect in you mouth.

Listed is Few Other Ailments it’s said to relieve.

  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Infection and Pain

The benefits listed are not a cure-all, if you do have any of these please consult with you Health Care Provider.

 Some Recipes using Ajowan

  • Rotis – a Flat Bread
  • Gobi Aloo – Cauliflower, Potato in a spicy gravy
  • Chaat Masala – A spice blend