Ajwain Seeds

Ajwain Seeds
Ajwain Seeds
Ajwain Seeds Ajwain Seeds
101155 001
Net Weight:
2.1 oz
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Ajwain Seed

Ajwain Seeds are a pungent little spice that packs a lot into a small package. Not quite as large as a sesame seed, whole Ajwain Seed have an aggressive flavor that comes on hard and fast, and lingers. A relative of thyme and caraway, Ajwain Seed seems to embrace the characteristics of other spices and herbs. At first bite, Ajwain Seed releases a light, floral thyme flavor, which quickly gives way to an oregano-like astringency that floats around the top notes. Right after that, bitter pepper kicks in with a little burn that lingers on the tongue, fading into an almost hoppy flavor that tingles as it fades. The smell is primarily reminiscent of thyme—with a hint of caraway lingering in the back—and that is thanks to the abundant volatile oil content. Ajwain Seeds contain anywhere between 2.5-5% volatile oil and is primarily thymol, the compound that gives thyme its distinctive flavor and aroma. A volatile oil content of 5%, however, is more that twice the oils found in thyme, which accounts for its aggressive flavor and lingering mouthfeel.

Delicately tiny, striped Ajwain Seeds look like the miniature cousins of caraway and cumin seed, and they are in fact related. But they are misnamed. Ajwain Seeds, unlike their cousins caraway and cumin, are not seeds but rather, very small fruits. They are classified as schizocarps, a fruit that, when mature, splits into two seed-bearing packages called mericarps. This helps explain the abundance of volatile oils in Ajwain Seed; none of it is depleted by diverting into the fruit casing, or the body of the seed. The volatile oils are retained all in one small but potent package.


Tips From Our Kitchen


Ajwain Seed is a standard ingredient in Indian cuisine, particularly in northern India. It’s also found in dishes throughout Asia, Ethiopia, Iran and Pakistan. As mentioned before, Ajwain Seed has an aggressive flavor. One teaspoon is usually enough for one pot of food. Toasting it in ghee or olive oil will help temper ajwain’s bold flavors while coaxing out this spice’s subtle back flavors, like that hint of anise that emerges with heat. Ajwain Seed can withstand a long cooking time and is great in lighter dishes like soup, which allows it to mellow and develop its nuances. We also recommend toasting Ajwain Seed and then adding at the end of cooking time to highlight its sharp, biting qualities, particularly if the dish you’re making is starchy or fatty, like a thick curry or fried potatoes. It is a staple in the Indian pantry and is a great addition to classic Indian flatbreads, like paratha or roti. We also offer Ground Ajwain if you want a milder version of this spice.

Our Ajwain Seed is cultivated in India.


Hungry for more information?

Indian Spices and Seasonings
Flavor Characteristics of Spices
What is the Shelf Life of Herbs and Spices?
Ajwain: Analysis of Essential Oil Components


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 tsp

Amount Per Serving


% Daily Value*

Total Fat0g0%

Saturated Fat0g0%

Trans Fat0g

Polyunsaturated Fat0g

Monounsaturated Fat0g



Total Carbohydrate0.0g0%

Dietary Fiber0.0g0%

Total Sugars0.0g

Added Sugars0g0%

Sugar Alcohol0.0g


Vitamin D0mcg0%




*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice. These values were calculated and therefore are approximate. For more accuracy, testing is advised.

5 out of 5
1 total ratings.

Kay D. (Verified buyer) 06/17/2021
Definitely give this a try! I discovered Spices, Inc. while I was searching for amchur (mango powder), a staple of Indian cuisine. I was therefore really excited to see that they also sell this ajwain seeds (a.k.a. bishop's weed seeds), another Indian cooking staple that I've had trouble finding in small amounts. I had never tried them before, but now I'll always keep some in my pantry! The description provided by Spices, Inc. is accurate. They do taste like an assertive version of thyme, which is a great flavor. They're said to aid in digestion and are frequently used in bean and legume dishes. I can see myself using them in lots of non-Indian recipes. I think that I might try substituting these for celery seeds the next time I make potato or macaroni salad. Or I might add these to my next pot of navy bean soup. Try them for yourself! I promise you won't be disappointed.