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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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ajowan Trachyspermum ammi, an umbelliferous plant of India and the Near East, related to caraway and ajmud. Its seeds constitute a spice which is used as a flavouring (e.g. sprinkled on biscuits and bread in Afghanistan), and also possesses useful antioxidant and preservative qualities. The flavour of the spice has been described as ‘a combination of anise and oregano with a hint of black pepper’.

The seeds, sometimes referred to as carom seeds, yield an essential oil, thymol; this is mainly used in toothpaste and for medical purposes, but also for flavouring purposes.