By Naini Setalvad
Munch it to chase away tummy blues. Add it to your cooking for a zing in taste. Inhale it to relieve congestion. No surprise that ajwain is a must in every kitchen, says Naini Setalvad
Ajwain is most definitely what I call my lifeline. I love to pop it into various food preparations. I even love to roast it and add roasted sesame seeds with salt, to make my personal favourite mouth freshener. Not only does it taste good, but also health-wise, it is the best thing you could eat after a meal.
The reason why I cannot do without my ajwain post-lunch or dinner is that it is an excellent digestive. It is also used medicinally for stomach-related problems. Right since my childhood, any stomach-related problem was cured by my grandmother’s favourite solution – boiling ajwain and drinking the water. Be it flatulence, indigestion, stomach infection, gas, or general spasms, ajwain is your solution.
Busting the cold
Naini Setalvad is a nutritionist,
specialising in lifestyle and immunity
disorders. Her foundation, Health
For You, throws light on healthy
Ajwain is also a panacea for those with respiratory problems. Ajwain rids your lungs and wind pipe of any excess mucus or phlegm. Even the smell of ajwain can help alleviate congestion due to the common cold, as well as the headache caused by it. If you are down with flu, or suffering from a cough, chewing on ajwain, or even adding it to your food, definitely chases the discomfort and illness away. In fact, munching on ajwain is beneficial to those who suffer from bronchitis.
In some regions, it is believed that ajwain is crucial in purifying blood, especially during pregnancy. Chewing on ajwain is also a great migraine cure.
For those lucky enough to have a kitchen garden, the ajwain plant is the easiest to grow and maintain. So remember to add it to your collection of other delicious herbs.
The zing thing
There are innumerable ways in which I love to enjoy ajwain. Knead some seeds into your paratha or roti dough for a burst of flavour. This will definitely surprise an unsuspecting eater in a pleasant way. The medicinal properties of ajwain have been known for generations in our culture. Ajwain is used to temper cooked food, which could possibly be known to cause gas. It is best added to cooked beans, such as broad beans.
Remember to have this delicious spice with your food everyday for better health.
Sesame with ajwain
1/2 cup ajwain
1/2 cup sesame
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
1. Mix ajwain, sesame, salt, and lemon.
2. Roast it on a slow flame until it becomes crisp.
1/2 cup ajwain leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 green chili
2 garlic cloves
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
1. Blend all the above ingredients to a paste. Add a little water if needed.
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