Ajowan Seed (Trachyspermum copticum or ammi) seed, also known as Ajwain seed, Bishops Weed, Ethiopian Cumin, Omam, or Carom. is popular in southern Indian style cooking. It has a flavour reminiscent of thyme; a similarity due to the presence of the essential oil thymol in both species.
Uses of Ajowan Seed:-
Ajowan Seed is used in Asian cooking, breads, biscuits, savoury pastries, and in bean dishes. This spice closely resembles the Lovage seed. The grayish-green seeds are striped and curved (similar to cumin or caraway seeds in appearance), often with a fine silk stalk attached. The seeds are often chewed on their own for medicinal value, tasting bitingly hot and bitter, leaving the tongue numb for a while. Cooking ajowan mellows it somewhat, When crushed, they have a strong and distinctive thyme-like fragrance
Ajowan seed contains an essential oil which is about 50% thymol which is a strong germicide, anti-spasmodic and fungicide. Thymol is also used in toothpaste and perfumery. It is used in a steeped liquid form against diarrhea and flatulence. In India the seeds are used as a household remedy for indigestion and colic, and used in poultices to relieve asthma and arthritis. It also has aphrodisiac properties and the Ananga Ranga prescribes it for increasing a husbands enjoyment in his middle years!