Also known as ...
- Ajave seeds
- Bishop’s weed
- Ethiopian cumin
What is ajwain seeds?
Ajwain (pronounced aj’o-wen) is a member of the Umbelliferae family, which has some 2,700 members including dill, caraway and cumin. It is mostly found in Indian cooking, where it is also known as bishop’s weed or carom. It is particularly suited to the delicate vegetarian fare found in the state of Gujarat.
Ajwain seeds are used as a spice. The grayish-green seeds are striped and curved (similar to cumin or caraway seeds in appearance), often with a fine silk stalk attached. They are usually sold whole. The seeds are often chewed on their own for medicinal value, tasting bitingly hot and bitter, leaving the tongue numb for a while. Cooking ajowan mellows it somewhat. When crushed, they have a strong and distinctive thyme-like fragrance.
Use of ajwain seeds
Ajwain has a particular affinity to starchy foods like savoury pastries and breads, especially parathas. Snacks like Bombay mix and potato balls get an extra kick from ajwain.
It is also good with green beans and root vegetables. Lentil dishes and recipes using besan (chick pea flour). It is occasionally an ingredient of curry powder.
** source : The Epicentre