It tastes like thyme or caraway, only stronger. Even a small amount of raw ajwain will completely dominate the flavor of a dish. In Indian cuisine, ajwain is almost never used raw, but either dry-roasted or fried in ghee or oil. This develops a much more subtle and complex aroma, somewhat similar to caraway but “brighter”.
At Morarka some farmers in South Rajasthan project areas and some in Maharashtra project areas are cultivating this spice in reasonable quantities. The traditional varieties have very fine grain and most of the consumption is also in whole grain form. In recent years some hybrid varieties having very bold grains are also cultivated due to its good appearance, but when used in whole form it gives bitter taste in the mouth, and thus is not very popular. Among other things, it is used for making a type of parantha, called ‘ajwain ka parantha’.
It is also traditionally known as a digestive aid, relieves abdominal discomfort due to indigestion and antiseptic. In southern parts of India dry ajwain seeds are powdered and soaked in milk, which is then filtered and fed to babies and kids to relieve colic, also improves digestion and appetite. In the northern part of India, Ajwain is often consumed after a heavy meal commonly offered after dinner parties.