A spice made from the ajowan seed, a plant that has an appearance similar to wild parsley. Native to Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Iran and Pakistan, ajowan seeds are similar to celery seeds in appearance and provide a distinctive flavor that is very close to the taste of thyme. In addition to use as a spice, the ajowan seed is processed into an oil known as thymol that is used in foods, in antiseptics and in germicides. For foods, it is commonly used to flavor breads and pastries, in snack mixes of nuts and seeds, and to season root vegetables and legumes. It is often used as a spice to aid in digestion of legumes to reduce flatulence.
Ajowan can be kept for very long periods of time before loosing its flavor when stored in an airtight container in a cool dark area.