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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Ajwain (also known as Carom, Ajowan, Bishop's Weed and Seeds Of 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, egg-shaped and grayish in color. The plant has a similarity to parsley. 
  • 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. It tastes like thyme or caraway, only stronger. Even a small amount of raw ajwain will completely dominate the flavor of a dish.

Habits And Cultivation

  • Ajowan is an erect, glabrous or minutely pubescent, branched annual that grows upto 90 cm. Stems are striate and leaves are distant and pinnately divided. Small white flowers are on terminal or seemingly lateral pedunculate, compound umbels. The fruits are ovoid, greyish brown, aromatic cremocarps with single seed.
  • Bishop's weed is suitable for areas where barriers can contain its vigorous growth, such as a strip between a house and a paved path. It will grow in almost any soil in sun or shade in Zones 3-10 and will thrive under most trees. It isn't discouraged by heavy clay soil.
  • Plant in spring, setting plants 6 to 12 inches apart. New plants are propagated by dividing old ones in early spring while dormant, or in early fall when the season's growth has matured. Aegopodium is an aggressive grower best used by itself to underplant larger woody trees and shrubs.

Uses

  • Usage of ajowan is almost confined to Central Asia and Northern India. Ajowan is particularly popular in savoury Indian recipes like savoury pastries, snacks and breads.
  • Ajowan is much used as a medicinal plant is ayurvedic medicine for its antispasmodic, stimulant, tonic and carminative properties. The seeds are used to ease asthma and indigestion. It is also widely used to treat diarrhoea and flatulence. In the West, thymol is used in medicines against cough and throat irritation. The thymol content makes ajowan a potent fungicide.

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