Ajwains' fragrance is strong, with thyme and cumin undertones and the taste is hot and similar to anise and oregano, with a bit of an initial kick that mellows a bit after. The aroma grows stronger when the seeds are first ground or when fried in oil or butter.
A spice of many names Ajwain, also known as ajwan, ajowan, bishop’s weed, carom and Ethiopian cumin is a potent spice! Along with its given name it is also known as, kamun al-mulaki or taleb el koub (Arabic), yin dou eng hui xiang (Mandarin), nanava (Farsi), ajowan (French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish) and ajwain or carom omum (Hindi).
While some believe they’re native to southern India, botanists have found the greatest genetic variety in the Eastern Mediterranean which means it is indigenous to that region. In ancient Egypt, ajwain seeds were used regularly as a medicine and as a culinary spice. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine (one of the world's oldest holistic “whole-body” healing systems), ajwain seeds have a long history treating asthma, persistent coughs, flatulence and indigestion. They were also prescribed as an antiseptic and a germicide.
It was introduced to central Europe in the middle of the 16th century. Ajwain is commercially grown in Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Iran and Pakistan.Our organic ajwain is grown in India.
Ajwain is an aromatic herbaceous plant that reaches a height of 1-3 feet; with numerous branched leafy stems with leaves that are pinnately divided (arrangement of feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of the branch). It blooms with red flowers which mature into small oval fruits that have a rough surface with numerous short points.