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The 5 Best Substitutes for Ajwain (Carom Seeds)

Have you ever tried carom seeds, also known as Ajwain? If not, you’re missing out on a delicious and healthy snack.

Carom seeds are a popular Indian spice used in cooking or eaten raw.

They have a slightly sweet taste and are often used in desserts.

However, they can also be added to savory dishes for a unique flavor.

Carom seeds are a good source of fiber and contain minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.

They also have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you’re looking for a healthy snack that is delicious and nutritious, carom seeds are a great option.

If you’re not sure how to use carom seeds in your cooking, plenty of recipes are available online.

You can also use them as a topping for salads or add them to smoothies for an extra boost of flavor.

However, if you can’t find carom seeds, don’t worry.

Several substitutes will work just as well.

There are available substitutes for carom seeds such as caraway seeds, thyme, fennel seeds, Marjoram, and Mexican oregano.

Depending on the dish you’re making, one of these substitutes may work better than the others.

Read on to learn more about the best substitutes for carom seeds.

What is Ajwain (Carom Seeds)?

what is ajwain carom seeds

Ajwain, also known as carom seeds, are the small, oval-shaped seeds of a plant in the parsley family.

These aromatic seeds have a pungent flavor and are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

It is native to India and used in traditional medicine for centuries.

The active compounds in Ajwain, thymol, and carvacrol, have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ajwain is most commonly used in savory dishes like curry or rice.

It can also be used to flavor bread, vegetables, and meat.

When cooked, Ajwain releases a strong, pungent flavor.

It has a strong flavor, so it is best used sparingly.

If you are new to cooking with this spice, start by adding a small amount and taste.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ajwain (Carom Seeds)

For those who are looking for a substitute for Ajwain, there are several options available.

Here are the five best substitutes for this aromatic spice.

1. Thyme

thyme

If you’re looking for spice with similar properties to Ajwain, thyme is a good option.

Like Ajwain, thyme contains thymol and carvacrol, which give it antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Thyme is a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and can be used to flavor meat, vegetables, and bread.

It has a slightly minty flavor with a hint of lemon.

Thyme is a versatile spice that can be used in many different dishes.

Try adding it to roasted vegetables, soups, stews, or sauces.

You can also use thyme to flavor meat before cooking or garnish.

When it comes to thyme, a little goes a long way.

Start with a small amount and add more to the taste.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s been added.

2. Caraway Seeds

caraway seeds

For centuries, Caraway seeds have been prized for their medicinal properties.

The ancient Egyptians used them to treat digestive problems.

The Greeks and Romans believed that they could boost sexual potency.

Today, we know that caraway seeds can help treat indigestion and other digestive issues.

There are two ways to use caraway seeds for cooking.

You can either use the whole seed or ground it into a powder.

Caraway seeds have a strong, pungent flavor that is similar to anise.

When used in small amounts, they can add a lovely depth of flavor to dishes.

However, if you use too much, they can quickly become overwhelming.

These seeds are often used in baking, as they pair well with sweet and savory dishes alike.

Caraway seeds are a common ingredient in rye bread and give sauerkraut its characteristic flavor.

3. Marjoram

marjoram

One of the more well-known substitutes for Ajwain is Marjoram.

Marjoram is a spice that has a very similar flavor profile to Ajwain.

It is slightly sweeter than Ajwain and does not have the same bitterness.

Marjoram also has a milder flavor, so it may not be suitable for all dishes.

When substituting Marjoram for Ajwain, you will need to use less of it than you would Ajwain.

In terms of taste, Marjoram is a good substitute for Ajwain.

It has a similar flavor profile but is milder and slightly sweeter.

If you are looking for spice with a similar flavor but without bitterness, then Marjoram is a good choice.

This spice can be used in many dishes, but you may need to use less of it than you would Ajwain.

4. Mexican Oregano

mexican oregano

This herb is a staple in Mexican cooking.

It has a strong, pungent flavor that some compare to mint.

Mexican oregano is often used in salsa, guacamole, and chili dishes.

When substituting for Ajwain, use half the amount of Mexican oregano called for in the recipe.

This herb can be found dried or fresh.

If using fresh, one tablespoon is equivalent to one teaspoon of the dried form.

Mexican oregano has a strong flavor, so it’s important to consider other flavors in the dish.

This herb can easily overpower other ingredients.

5. Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds

The last substitute on our list is fennel seeds.

These seeds have a sweet, anise-like flavor.

Fennel is used in both sweet and savory dishes around the world.

In Indian cuisine, fennel seeds are often used in curries and rice dishes.

They can also be found in Italian sausage and some baked goods.

When substituting for Ajwain, use half the amount of fennel seeds called for in the recipe.

These seeds can be a little tricky to find.

You may need to go to a specialty store or order them online.

Fennel seeds can be used whole or ground.

They can also be roasted to bring out a deeper flavor.

Conclusion

Ajwain (Carom Seeds) is a key ingredient in many Indian dishes.

If you don’t have any on hand, a few substitutes will work in a pinch.

Depending on the dish you’re making, one of these substitutes might be a better option than the others.

Use your best judgment and adjust the amount used to suit your taste.

Try to get your hands on some Ajwain for the most authentic flavor.

They can be found in Indian markets or online.

Do you have a favorite Ajwain substitute? Let us know in the comments below.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ajwain (Carom Seeds)

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ajwain (Carom Seeds)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Thyme
  • Caraway Seeds
  • Marjoram
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Fennel Seeds

Instructions

  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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