Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Usage of Ajvain Seeds

Health benefits of Ajvain:

  • Ajvain seeds contain health benefiting essential oils such as thymol, a monopterone derivative class of chemical compound, which gives aromatic fragrances to seeds. In addition, they also compose of small amounts other phyto-chemicals such as pinene, cymene, limonene and terpinene.
  • The active principles in the Ajvain may help increase the digestive function of the intestinal tract by facilitating release of gut juices.
  • Thymol, the essential oil obtained from Ajvain has local anaesthetic, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Likewise in caraway, Ajvain seeds are rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.

Medicinal Uses:

  • Ajvain seeds have long been used in traditional ayurvedic and unani medicines for various ailments. Extraction obtained from this spice is sometimes used as carminative in treating flatulence and indigestion.
  • Thymol's germicide and antiseptic properties can be employed in the preparation of cough remedies. In India, the seeds decoction often used to ease asthma.
  • Ajvain seed oil has the highest percentage of thymol.


Culinary uses:

Ajvain seeds mainly feature in savory Indian, Pakistani, and Middle-Eastern cooking. In order to keep fragrance and flavor intact, the seeds are generally ground just before preparing dishes and added to the cooking recipes at final stages. This is done so because, prolonged cooking may result in evaporation of its essential oils.
  • In Punjab province of India and Pakistan, the spice seeds particularly added to make bread known as ajwain paratha.
  • Some Indian vegetarian bean/lentil and chicken/fish curries contain this spice, and in the Middle East, it is used to flavor meat and rice dishes.
  • The seeds used generously as condiment in snacks, spicy biscuits, cookies, to flavor drinks, soups, sauces in India.
  • They also used in pickling along with fenugreek, mustard seeds, turmeric, etc.

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