Ajwain (Carom Seeds) - Know Your Ingredient

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Description: Ajwain is the member of the dill, caraway and cumin family. The carom seeds are a popular spice throughout the Indian sub-continent and is the native of the Southern part of India. The plant is grown in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt as well. The carom seeds have a strong crude aroma to it, very similar to the thyme. While tasting it creates a hot sensation in the palate along with a light bitter taste. The seeds are small, ridged ovals, greyish green to redish-brown, and resembles cumin seeds. 

Natives names: Ajwani (Hindi), Carom Seeds (English), Omam (Tamil), Biyane (Marathi)

How to select: Ajwain is readily available in most of the Indian grocery stores. The good quality carom seeds release a pungent aroma when rubbed between fingers. While buying make sure to buy sealed packet of the carom seeds, to avoid any contamination of bugs. Select seeds that look crisp and fresh, and have a strong aroma

How to store: The carom seeds will keep for a longer duration in an airtight container at room temperature. The seeds powder can also be stored in the same manner at room temperature.

Culinary Uses: Ajwain is usually used in small quantity, too much addition of ajwain will make a dish taste bitter. Ajwain is one of the key ingredients in the popular Indian spice mix called - Chaat Masala. In the Indian Cuisine, the carom seeds are added to the flatbread dough, dry vegetable seasoning and to flavor a variety of seasonal pickles. Before using carom seeds in any type of cooking bruise them gently with a pestle to release the flavor and the aroma

Health Benefits: Ajwain is one of the important kitchen ingredients that is full of health and medicinal benefits. Ajwain is a great home remedy for many health conditions like constipation, indigestion, gas, acidity, stomach pain, etc.  Ajwain has inherent ayurvedic properties to digest foods thus good for digestion.  When the mix of ajwain seed powder, dried ginger powder and black salt, it is called as Methi Ajwain Kala Jeera Powder, which helps in boosting immunity. The presence of thymol in carom seeds smooth the secretion of gastric juices and improves digestion thus ensures relief in constipation.  Drinking lukewarm ajwain infused water on a daily basis is considered good for digestive system