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Also known as
Shahjeera or Siya jeera
Caraway or Persian cumin (Carum carvi) is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and western Asia. Caraway fruits (erroneously called seeds) are crescent-shaped achenes, around 2 mm long, with five pale ridges. The fruits, usually used whole, have a pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma that comes from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene. They are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread. Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, and other foods and is an ingredient in sauerkraut, for example. It is also used to add flavor to cheeses. Caraway seeds, brown in color are hard and sharp to touch.
How to select
Caraway seeds look very similar to cumin. They are dark brown, and can be bought whole or ground. At the market, you want to look for whole seeds that are dark brown with a light brown ridges. Ground caraway seeds are also very dark brown
· Caraway is widely used as a spice for culinary purposes and for flavoring bread, biscuits, cakes and cheese.
· It is also used for seasoning sausages and as medicine to relief stomach ailments.
How to store
Ground caraway is best bought is small quantities and stored in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place. Whole seeds should also be stored in a container in a cool area, as well .
· Caraway seeds contain appreciable moisture, protein, fat, substantial amount of carbohydrates besides ash, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
· It also contains vitamins C and A.
· The caraway seeds are beneficial in activating the glands, besides increasing the action of the kidneys.
· The seeds are also useful in strengthening the functions of stomach. They relieve flatulence and are useful in flatulent colic, countering any possible adverse effects of medicines. For flatulence, a cup of tea made from caraway seeds taken thrice a day, after meals, will give relief.
· Caraway seed oil is used orally in overcoming bad breath or insipid taste.