English Name: Carom Seeds
Common Indian Name (Hindi): Ajwain
- Ajwain (also known as carom seeds or bishop's weed), is an uncommon spice except in certain areas of Asia.
- It is the small seed-like fruit of the Bishop's Weed plant, (Trachyspermum ammi syn. Carum copticum), egg-shaped and grayish in color. The plant has a similarity to parsley because of the same family (Umbelliferae).
- Raw ajwain smells almost exactly like thyme because it also contains thymol, but is more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as slightly bitter and pungent. Even a small amount of raw ajwain will completely dominate the flavor of a dish.
- Ajwain originated in the Middle East, possibly in Egypt. It is now primarily grown and used in the Indian Subcontinent, but also in Iran, Egypt and Afghanistan.
- Thymol of Ajwain is a germicide and antiseptic, and is prescribed for diarrhea, colic and other bowel problems, helping expel wind and mucus. It is also traditionally known as a digestive aid and an antiemetic. Anti-emetics are typically used to treat motion sickness and the side effects of opioid analgesics, general anesthetics and chemotherapy directed against cancer.