Meet The Spices – Ajwain
Since spices form the backbone of Indian cooking, I have decided to do a “Meet The Spices” series on the ones most commonly used.
Today let me introduce Ajwain. These highly fragrant seeds are used in numerous Indian foods both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Ajwain packs a strong fragrance and flavor punch so is only ever used in small quantities. Besides being a flavour enhancer, it is also a digestive! A strong decoction made from steeping Ajwain seeds in boiling water, is the most commonly used remedy in India, for upset tummies.
If you are keen to experiment with Ajwain, here are some recipes that call for its use…
Indian name and pronounciation:
Appearance, taste and smell:
Uses other than cooking:
- As a digestive. Chew by itself or with a little sugar to make it more palatable in its raw form.
- As a cure for diarrhoea, dysentry and indigestion. Boil a cup of water with 1 tbsp of Ajwain till the water is reduced to half its original volume. Drink this water.
- To relieve symptoms (like blocked nose, etc) of a cold. Add 1 tbsp of Ajwain to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam.
- To ease rheumatic pain. Ajwain oil must be applied on affected part of body.