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What are ajowan seeds?

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Ajowan (or ajwain) seeds are a spice related to cumin and caraway that originates from the Middle East and is now mostly found in southern India. Ajowan seeds look like purplish-red celery seeds and taste like astringent thyme. Also called carom or bishop's weed, ajowan is available in seed or ground form.

Sometimes added to a curry powder mix, or to breads, legumes and chutneys, ajowan is powerful and should be used sparingly. Ajowan is also said to reduce the unwanted effects caused by beans when added to bean-based preparations.

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