The small fruit pods are pale brown and have an oval shape, resembling caraway and cumin. It has a bitter and pungent taste, with a flavour similar to anise and oregano. They smell almost exactly like thyme because it also contains thymol, but are more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as slightly bitter and pungent. Even a small amount of fruit pods tend to dominate the flavour of a dish.
This is because of its strong, dominant flavor. Ajwain is also used in vegetable dishes (for its distinctive taste) and pickles (for its preservative qualities).
Thymol has been used for ages past as a medicinal ingredient in Ayurveda!
- Ajwain is often part of the Tadka in a dish. It is used in small quantities and almost always used cooked.
- As a digestive. Chew by itself or with a little sugar to make it more palatable in its raw form.
- As a cure for diarrhoea, dysentery and indigestion. Boil a cup of water with 1 table spoon of Ajwain till the water is reduced to half its original volume. Drink this water.
- To relieve symptoms (like blocked nose, etc) of a cold. Add 1 table spoon of Ajwain to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam.
- To ease rheumatic pain. Ajwain oil must be applied on affected part of body