Ajwain: Carom Seeds, Bishop's Weed - Trachyspermum Ammi
- Ajwain, when roasted (fat-free) in a pan, releases a delicate fragrance and imparts a thyme-like taste
- Carom Seeds are a potent spice; use them sparingly to avoid bitterness in your dish
- Enhances the flavors of Indian dishes, potatoes, and fish
What is Ajwain?
Ajwain, also known by various names such as Bishop's Weed, Trachyspermum Ammi, Carom Seeds, Lovage Seeds, Ethiopian cumin, or Indian cumin, is a spice with a distinct aroma resembling thyme. Its exact origin is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in India or the eastern Mediterranean region.
Trachyspermum Ammi - Use and Taste
Ajwain can be crushed using a mortar and pestle or roasted in a pan before use. Roasting it brings out a burning, aromatic fragrance reminiscent of thyme.
Due to its strong aroma, it is recommended to use Ajwain in small quantities. It is commonly used in African and Indian cuisine, particularly in bean and lentil dishes, to enhance flavor and aid digestion. In India, it is used in bread, crackers, and potato dishes.
It is important to use King cumin sparingly in dishes to prevent them from becoming overly bitter.
Ajowan - The Plant
Ajwain, similar to parsley, belongs to the Apiaceae family, also known as the umbel flower family. It is an annual herb that can grow up to 1.5 meters in height. It produces upright white flowers arranged in double domes and has leaves resembling dill. The fruit of the Ajwain plant, known as Indian cumin, is gray-brown in color, 1-2 mm in length, oval-shaped, and has five longitudinal ribs. These fruits are also referred to as fission fruits.
Regions of Growth for Bishop's Weed
Ajwain is cultivated and used in Egypt, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Iran. It has become widespread in these regions and is harvested before reaching full maturity to ensure optimal quality.
Storage of Lovage Seeds
To maintain the freshness of Ajwain, store it in a cool, dry place, protected from light and air. The ideal storage temperature is around 15°C. When stored correctly, Ajwain has a minimum shelf life of 5 years.