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Ajwain

Nutritional value

Calories – 305

Fat – 25 grams

Protein – 16 grams

Carbohydrates – 100 grams

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Ajwain is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Both the leaves and the seed‑like fruit (often mistakenly called seeds) of the plant are consumed by humans. The name “bishop’s weed” also is a common name for other plants. The “seed” that is the fruit often confused with lovage “seed”.

 

Ajwain’s small, oval-shaped, seed-like fruits are pale brown schizocarps, which resemble the seeds of other plants in the family Apiaceae such as caraway, cumin and fennel. They have a bitter and pungent taste, with a flavour similar to anise and oregano. They smell almost exactly like thyme because they also contain thymol, but they are more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as being somewhat bitter and pungent. Even a small number of fruits tend to dominate the flavour of a dish.

 

Ajwain leaves are not very widely known for its culinary use. Ajwain leaves can be used to remedy cold and cough at home. Ajwain leaves are used to make pakoras, chutneys and juices

Ajwain, or carom seeds, are very common in Indian households. The aromatic seeds are used in adding flavour to a number of desi drinks, curries and even breads like parathas. It is also revered in Ayurveda for its numerous health benefits. But not a lot of people know about ajwain leaves. Although these leaves come from different plant as the true ajwain plant, the succulent leaves are still known as ajwain leaves in the Indian subcontinent. The plant that the leaves are a part of is also known as the ‘Indian Borage,’ which is also called the ajwain plant sometimes. The leaves of this plant are the real stars. They are bright green in colour and are broad and pulpy. They have a layer of very fine and soft hair atop them, and you can access these leaves by buying a pot of the Indian Borage at any nursery or botanists. The reason these leaves are known as ajwain leaves, despite being a part of a completely different plant, is that they have a smell that is similar to that of carom seeds. In Kannada, the plant is known as ‘saveer sambar soppu,’ which literally translates to ‘thousand utility leaf.’ The scientific name of the plant is ‘Plectranthus Amboinicus’ and can easily be grown at home or in your kitchen garden. The leaves have a number of uses and can be added to dishes of your choice to add a distinctive flavour and taste to them.

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