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All About Carom Seeds or Ajwain | Really Magical

All About Ajwain or Carom Seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)

Carom seeds are also known as Ajwain, Thymol seeds, Ajma, Ajmodika, Onum, Bishop’s weed.

Carom Seeds or Ajwain – Are also known as ajowan, or Trachyspermum ammi – also known as ajowan caraway, thymol seeds, bishop’s weed, or carom—is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae.

Both the leaves and the seed‑like fruit of the plant are consumed by humans. The name “bishop’s weed” also is a common name for other plants.

It looks similar to fennel and cumin seeds and is highly fragrant, smelling like thyme. Its taste, however, is more like oregano and anise due to the bitter notes and strong flavor.

What are the other names of carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Carom seeds names in other Indian & International languages are given below.

Indian Languages Other Languages
Hindi: Ajwain (अजवाइन)
Bengali: Joyan (জোয়ান)
Gujarati: 
Ajmo (અજમો), Ajma (અજમા)
Kannada: Ajmoda (ಅಜಮೋದ), Oma (ಓಮಾ)
Malayalam
: Ayamodagam (അയമോദകം), Omam (ഓമം)
Marathi: Ove (ओवा)
Punjabi:
Ajwain (ਅਜਵਾਇਨ), Jawain (ਜਵਾਇਨ)
Sanskrit:
Yavaanika (यवनिका)
Tamil:
Omam (ஓமம்)
Telugu:
Omamu (ఒమాము), Vamu (వాము)
Latin (Botanical): Trachyspermum ammi
Arabic: Ajwan (اجوان), Kamun al-muluki (كمون الملوكي)
Chinese:
Yan douh johng wuih heung (印度藏茴香)
Dutch:
Ajowan
English: Carom, Ajowan, Bishop’s Weed
French:
Ajowan
German: Adiowan, Königskümmel
Japanese: Ajowan (アジョワン)
Portuguese: Orégano-semente, Semente-de-orégano
Swedish
: Carambole frön

What exactly are carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Get to know more about ajwain or carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi).

Carom seeds or ajwain

Carom seeds or ajwain is a seed-like fruit often used in Indian cooking as part of a spice mixture.

Ajwain belongs to the Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae) family of plants.

The herb is generally grown in October–November and harvested in May–June. Usually grayish brown seeds or fruits of Ajwain are considered for medical and nutritional purposes.

Both the leaves and the seed‑like fruit (often mistakenly called seeds) of the plant are consumed by humans. They have a bitter and pungent taste, with a flavour similar to anise and oregano.

They smell almost exactly like thyme because they also contain thymol, but they are more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as being somewhat bitter and pungent.

The fruits are rarely eaten raw; they are commonly dry-roasted or fried in ghee that allows the spice to develop a more subtle and complex aroma.

T. ammi or ajwain is widely cultivated as a spice for curries in India, the Mediterranean and Ethiopia. Usually the fruits are dried, roasted and ground before use.

The fruits are also used in pickles, biscuits and sweets. The essential oil is sometimes added to food as a preservative.

What is the nutritional value of of carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Find out about the nutritional value of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi).

Carom seeds are incredibly nutritious, being rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals.

Because of this, they have been associated with health benefits and long been used in traditional Indian medicine practices.

Ajwain seeds contain about 305 calories, 25 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein and 43 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.

They also contain vitamins B1 and B3, and minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus.

What is the chemical composition of carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Know and understand the chemical composition of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi).

Ajwain essential oil shows the presence of 26 identified components which account for 96.3% of the total amount.

Thymol (39.1%) was found as a major component along with p-cymene (30.8%), gamma-terpinene (23.2%), beta-pinene (1.7%), terpinene-4-ol (0.8%).

Acetone extract of ajwain showed the presence of 18 identified components which account for 68.8% of the total amount.

The major component was thymol (39.1%) followed by oleic acid (10.4%), linoleic acid (9.6%), gamma-terpinene (2.6%), p-cymene (1.6%), palmitic acid (1.6%), and xylene (0.1%).

What is the history of carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Know more about the origins & the story behind carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi).

The ajwain plant is thought to have originated in Persia (Iran) and Asia Minor (what is now Turkey).

Trachyspermum ammi is a native of Egypt and is cultivated in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

One of its first uses upon its arrival in the Indian subcontinent, was in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also an occasional ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.

Ajwain is also a prominent spice in Ethiopia – it’s sold in Ethiopian markets as “bishop’s weed”. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in berbere, a spice mixture favoured in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

This plant appears to have been a botanical rock star during the Middle Ages in Asia Minor with a presence in Europe serving both as a pot herb and as a cure against indigestion.

At that time, bishop’s weed had a permanent place in monastic gardens along with other multi talented plants.

Known as Zenyan or Nankhah in medical and pharmaceutical manuscript of medieval Persia, seeds of Ajwain were highly administered by traditional healers and employed for different ailments.

Ajwain is a very old and well known Ayurvedic spice.

According to Hakeem Hashmi, the oriental unani researcher, the ajwain seeds combine the powerful and stimulant qualities of capsicum, bitter property of chiretta and anti spasmodic qualities of asafoetida.

Ajwain has been used as a carminative medicine from the ancient times.

Famous Greek physicians like, Dioscorides and Galen used it in various medications. Some very valuable unani medicines are prepared from ajwain seeds.

What are the uses of carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi)?

How are carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) used?

  • Because of its strong, dominant flavour, ajwain is used in small quantities and is almost always cooked.
  • Because of its strong aromatic essence, it is often added to curries and pickles.
  • In Indian cuisine, carom seeds are used to flavour vegetarian dishes primarily legumes or dal.
  • Ajwain treats any kind of abdominal discomfort due to indigestion like stomach pains or burning sensations.
  • They can even be chewed raw, added to water or tea to extract maximum benefits from their richness in fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Ajwain seeds are commonly added to different masalas, sprinkled in dough before making rotis or in bread before baking. It is also added in fruits.
  • Ajwain works as a decongestant when used for cough and cold.
  • For minor cuts and bruises, crush ajwain and apply the paste to the bruise. Clean it with a clean cloth.
  • It is also traditionally used to increase milk yield in dairy cattle.

What do ajwain or carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi) taste like?

What is the the taste of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

When raw, carom seeds have a very pungent aroma that is very similar to thyme. Drying them makes the flavour milder but the spice retains a powerful bite that can numb the tongue.

Some classify their taste profile to be of a bitter and pungent taste, with a flavour similar to anise and oregano. Carom seeds do have a sharp and penetrating taste.

It has a distinctive smoky taste after being cooked. It has an aroma close to thyme as it contains thymol.

How much ajwain or carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi) should I use?

What is the the recommended quantity of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Because of its strong, dominant flavor, ajwain is used in small quantities and is almost always cooked. In Indian cooking, the spice is often part of the tadka in a dish.

if you use too much of carom seeds in your dishes, it will overpower and become the dominant taste. When preparing food for 4, the usual amount of adding carom seeds or ajwain is merely a teaspoon.

The best way to use carom seeds is to briefly fry it in oil or just dry roast the seeds before adding to a dish.

What are the ayurvedic properties of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Information about ayurvedic details of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi).

Rasa (Taste): Tikta (Bitter), Katu (Pungent)
Guna (Qualities): Laghu (Light), Rukshna (Rough) and Teekshna (Piercing)
Veerya (Potency): Ushna (Hot)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
Karma (Actions): Appeases Kapha and Vata dosha. Aggravates Pitta

What can I use carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) for?

Learn how to use carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) in your food & beverages.

  • Chew a spoonful of raw ajwain seeds every day in the morning.
  • Ajwain/Carom seeds are added during the tadka or tempering process of cooking. Without ajwain every dal tadka is incomplete.
  • Carom seeds are used in many savoury dishes and go well with most whole grains, especially legumes.
  • Best food pairing of ajwain is with potatoes, cauliflower, paneer, onions, chicken, curry, fish, ginger, lentils, peas, tomatoes.
  • When suffering from a cold, make a paste of carom seeds and jaggery and consume twice a day.
  • Ajwain is an integral part of “panchphoran” – a much-used Bengali 5 spice mix.
  • Manufacturing of biscuits, crackers, snacks, soups, soft drinks, pickles and other edible Indian dishes also uses carom seeds.
  • The Punjabis use ajwain frequently (almost daily) in their paranthas and tempering (tadka) of pulses or dal.

How do I prepare carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) for food?

Learn how to prepare carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) for your food & beverages.

Ajwain, or carom is a common spice in the Indian pantry, and is consumed both raw and cooked. You should add it a little at a time, until the flavours are just balanced.

You can dry roast ajwain or use in a tadka with a mixture of spices, fried in ghee to enhance the flavour of lentils and drizzled over baked goods like bread and biscuits.

How long does carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) last?

Learn about how long does carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) last in storage.

Ajwain or carom seeds should be stored it in an airtight glass jar in a dry and cool place. It will stay fresh and last for at least a year.

How do I store carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Learn about how long does carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) last in storage.

Ajwain or carom seeds should be stored it in an airtight glass jar in a dry and cool place. It will stay fresh and last for at least a year.

Is there a substitute for carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Learn how to use a substitute for carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) if unavailable.

  1. Dried Thyme – Both thyme and carom seeds have the same combination of woodsy and minty notes as both are rich in the essential oil thymol.
  2. Common Oregano – Its strong, earthy notes and sharpness do a good job of standing in for carom seeds.
  3. Marjoram – Marjoram has a similar flavour to both thyme and oregano, which makes it perfect substitute for carom seeds.

Where do I buy carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Where to Locate carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi) in the Grocery Store.

Ajwain seed can be found in Indian food markets, specialty spice shops, and online. It is most often sold in seed form. Always choose carom seeds that look fresh and crisp with a strong aroma.

Buy Ajwain in India | Buy Carom Seeds in the USA

What are the health benefits of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi)?

Learn all about the health benefits of carom seeds or ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi).

Health Benefits of Carom Seeds or Ajwain or Bishop’s Weed
  1. Health Benefits of Carom Seeds for Improving Digestive Health: Bishop weed or ajwain seeds help you deal with different stomach problems. It helps with acidity, ache or indigestion. The enzymes in ajwain facilitate the release of gastric juices. This improves digestive functions. Ajwain if taken with the small quantity of salt and warm water solves indigestion problems.
  2. Health Benefits of Ajwain help in reducing weight: Consuming ajwain helps you in improving your bowel movement. It cleans your body of all the harmful toxins. Chew ajwain seeds raw or drink it after boiling in water every day. This helps in weight loss.
  3. Health Benefits of Carom Seeds for its anti-inflammatory effects: Carom seeds have been shown to have antiinflammatory effects. It helps to reduce inflammation in your body. They also have antibiotic properties. It helps reduce redness and combat inflammation. Their anaesthetic properties soothe the pain and swelling. Hence, proving their use in combating arthritis also.
  4. Health Benefits of Ajwain  for handling breathing difficulties: Doctors and the health experts alike prescribe ajwain seeds for expelling cough and give relief to the cold that caused asthma in the first place.
  5. Health Benefits of Carom Seeds to Prevent Kidney Stones: Carom seeds prevent the formation of kidney stones. Ajwain can also help in dissolving kidney stones as well. Once dissolved, the body automatically flushes them out.
  6. Health Benefits of Carom Seeds for managing common cold: he anti-inflammatory properties help in healing runny nose and nasal congestion. It is also rich in antioxidants, which protect your respiratory tract from infections. Boil some Ajwain seeds in water and drink this tea for instant relief from sinus problems.
  7. Health Benefits of Ajwain for diabetes: Ajwain seeds are rich in medicinal properties that cure Type-2 Diabetes. Ajwain based remedies slow down the digestion process and the release of insulin.
  8. Health Benefits of Carom Seeds for Skin – Due to its germicidal and fungicidal qualities, ajwain seed paste can be used to clean minor wounds and cuts. Ajwain paste is also said to be effective against acne scars when applied topically.
  9. Health Benefits of Ajwain for Hair – Add some curry leaves, raisins, ajwain seeds and sugar to a cupful of water and boil. This concoction is said to be useful against the premature greying of hair when taken daily.
  10. Health Benefits of Carom Seeds for Oral health: One of the health benefits of Ajwain is to assist in reducing mouth problems. Consuming ajwain seeds will assist you in maintaining a healthy mouth for a long time.
  11. Health Benefits of Ajwain for Arthritis Pain – Ajwain has antibiotic properties, thus helping in reducing redness and combat inflammation.
  12. Health Benefits of Ajwain for Your Heart – Ajwain or carom seeds help in lowering the bad cholesterol level and increases the good cholesterol level thus prevents heart disease.

How to make ajwaini water or carom seeds water?

Make Ajwain ka pani at home | Homemade Carom Seeds Water or Ajwain Water

Ajwaini water or Carom seeds water prepared using boiling ajwain seeds in water helps in cough and cold, relieves acidity along with flatulence and is also known to promote weight loss.

This is one of the best ways to extract health benefits of ajwain.

Health Benefits of Carom Seeds or Ajwain (Bishop's Weed)
Print

Ajwain - Ajwain Water | Carom Seeds Water | Ajwain Ka Pani

Ajwain - Ajwain Water or Carom Seeds Water or Ajwain Ka Pani - Herbal water prepared from ajwain (carom seeds) is known as ajwain ka pani or carom seeds water. Drinking ajwain water regularly enhances your metabolic rate, burns fat and thus helps in losing weight.
Course Weight Loss
Cuisine Indian
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Ajwain Fried Fish, Ajwain ka pani, Ajwain Water, Carom Seeds, Carom Seeds Water, make ajwain water
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 people
Calories 3kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra

Ingredients

  • 0.5 teaspoon Carom Seeds Ajwain
  • 1 cup Water Paani

Instructions

  • Take a saucepan on a medium flame
  • Add carom seeds to the saucepan.
  • Add the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Once boiling, let the water simmer for 8-10 mins.
  • Once, this is done you can strain the water.
  • Drink ajwain water it hot or warm.

Notes

  • I suggest do not make ajwain water or carom seeds water in a large batch, make in small quantities.
  • Make a fresh batch of ajwain water when you want to drink it especially if you live in a hot/humid place.

Can I drink ajwain water daily?

Can I consume carom seed water regularly?

Apart from aiding weight lossdrinking ajwain (carom seedswater first thing in the morning helps you to fight diabetes, constipation, stomach gas, diarrhoea, asthma, etc.

It’s the easiest and the simplest drink you can have for weight loss, and it doesn’t even take much time to prepare a tea or drink of ajwain water.

The carom seed oil also helps in weight loss by boosting your metabolism, improve digestion, and treat acidity.

In India, it has long been a practice to give ajwain water to women post-pregnancy, as it is believed to reduce water retention and swelling.

Ajwain as a Preferred Spice

Apart from reaping the health benefits of carom seeds, Indians largely use Ajwain as a spice. They usually roast or fry it. Ajwain is an integral part of “panchphoran” – a much-used Bengali 5 spice mix.

Manufacturing of biscuits, crackers, snacks, soups, soft drinks, pickles and other edible Indian dishes also uses carom seeds. The Punjabis use ajwain frequently (almost daily) in their paranthas and tempering of pulses or dal.

It is definitely good for the digestion hence used for healthy cooking. One can enhance the delicious quality of the foods by adding carom seeds in them.

FINALLY, TO SUM IT UP

Health benefits of carom seeds or ajwain (bishop’s weed)

Carom Seeds or Ajwain – Are also known as ajowan, or Trachyspermum ammi – also known as ajowan caraway, thymol seeds, bishop’s weed, or carom—is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae.

Both the leaves and the seed‑like fruit of the plant are consumed by humans. The name “bishop’s weed” also is a common name for other plants.

It looks similar to fennel and cumin seeds and is highly fragrant, smelling like thyme. Its taste, however, is more like oregano and anise due to the bitter notes and strong flavor.

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