Aromatic and digestive, it is an ayurvedic herb known for rejuvenating the digestive system and is good for nursing mothers. It is also used as a food ingredient for its sweet fragrance.
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Ajwain originated in the Middle East, possibly in Egypt and the Indian Subcontinent. This is a very minor spice in terms of volume of production as well as in terms of its usage, both in India as well as in International cuisines. 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. In Indian cuisine, Ajwain is almost never used in raw form; it is either dry-roasted or fried in ghee or oil. This develops a much more subtle and complex aroma, somewhat similar to caraway but "brighter".
It is traditionally known as a digestive aid; relieves abdominal discomfort due to indigestion and is antiseptic. In southern parts of India, dry Ajwain seeds are powdered and soaked in milk, which is then filtered and fed to babies and kids to relieve colic and also to improve digestion and appetite. In the northern part of India, Ajwain is often consumed after a heavy meal and is commonly offered after dinner parties. Among other things, it is also used for making a type of parantha, called 'ajwain ka parantha'.