Ajowain (Trachyspermum ammi) (Carom)
Ajowain provides relief against:
- Alcohol addiction
- Kidney stones
- Weight loss
- Gas and flatulence
- Acidity and hyperacidity
- Tooth ache and ear ache
- For cleaning wounds
- To stop grey hair
It is used in a variety of culinary dishes and spices. It is also sometimes used in tea.
How to grow this plant at home?
If you live somewhere tropical, you can grow carom outdoors as a perennial. In more temperate climates, it can be an annual outdoors or you can grow it indoors in containers. This is an easy plant to grow, but it may be difficult to find. If you can find fresh ajwain in an Indian specialty grocery, you can grow a plant from the cuttings. Carom will grow in nearly any soil type but prefers more alkaline soil. It does not need a lot of organic material, and once in the ground, will only need regular watering and sunlight.
Make sure the soil drains well and that you don’t overwater it and your carom plants should start growing and spreading. Avoid planting somewhere where you do not want it to fill in spaces. It tends to take over, much like mint does.
- Ajwain water
1/2 teaspoon Ajwain (Carom) Seeds
1 cup Water
Add carom seeds in a pot.
Add the water and let it boil.
Once boiled, let the water simer for 5 mins.
Cool and drink it in small portions.
- Ajwain Parathas:
250g/9oz wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp salt
7 tsp olive oil
1½ tsp ajwain seeds
- Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the salt and one teaspoon of the oil to the well, then gradually add 150ml/5fl oz warm water. Stir until the mixture forms a soft dough. If the dough is dry and does not come together, add an extra 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- Knead the dough by clenching your hand into a fist, then wet your knuckles and press them repeatedly into the dough, pressing against the side of the bowl, until a soft, smooth dough forms. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into six balls of equal size. Dust each ball with a little flour to prevent it sticking, then roll out on a lightly floured surface into 15cm/6in circles.
- Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of ajwain seeds over the circles and press the seeds into each paratha.
- Smear one teaspoon of olive oil over each paratha. With a sharp knife, slit the paratha to make two semi-circles and fold, then fold again to make a quarter circle (or triangle).
- Flatten the triangle with your fingers and roll it out again. Use circular motions to do this to try to keep to the shape. While rolling do not press down too hard as this will cause the layers to stick together and the paratha will not be flaky. About 5mm/¼in in thickness is good.
- Heat a shallow frying pan over a medium heat until a splash of water sizzles on the surface.
- Place a paratha in the pan and cook for 20 seconds, or until the top starts to brown and slightly bubble. Turn the paratha over using a spatula and continue cooking for about 30 seconds, or until brown spots appear. Flip it over one more time and, using the spatula, carefully press down all over. Turn over again and repeat on the other side until you have the desired crispiness.
- Keep each paratha warm, while you repeat to cook them all. Serve hot.
- Mushroom and Ajwain Pissaladière
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
olive or canola oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ½ cups sliced mixed mushrooms (I used a mixture of cremini, shiitake and oysters)
¼ teaspoons ajwain seeds
¼ teaspoons cumin seeds
2 medium-sized Spanish onions, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper
scant ½ teaspoons black pepper
scant ½ teaspoons chili powder
scant ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon water
fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 400? F. I used a 15”x 10” baking sheet, but this dish could be stretched a little farther if your baking sheet is slightly larger.
- On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry into an appropriately sized rectangle and place on a baking sheet. Prick all over with a fork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Cover bottom of pan with oil and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Once foam has subsided, add mushrooms and toss to coat. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until well-browned, season lightly with salt and place in a colander over a bowl to drain excess liquid and oil.
- Wipe off skillet and set back over medium heat. Add oil again to coat the bottom of the pan and, when oil begins to shimmer, add ajwain and cumin seeds. Fry spices for about a minute being careful not to burn. Turn heat down to low, add 2 tablespoons butter, onions, crushed red pepper, black pepper, chili powder, and a pinch of salt. Cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently until onions caramelize. Add mushrooms and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, beat together egg and water. Remove puff pastry from refrigerator and brush with egg wash. Spread mushroom and onion mixture onto pastry being sure to leave an uncovered edge around the outside. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and bake for 15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before cutting and serving. I like to sprinkle a little fresh fleur de sel on top before serving.