Indian cuisine is all about rich aromatic spices and herbs. From rasam powder to garam masala, there must be some gazillion recipes with exotic spices like saffron to a more down to earth coriander..each having its own character, aroma and flavor. Today's showcase - Ajwain or Carom, a well known herb, famous for its medicinal properties and for its aroma..almost like thyme only stronger. Member of the parsley family, ajwain's main flavor comes from thymol, the essential oil that makes thyme taste like thyme. But while thyme is floral and sweet, ajwain is sharp. The ajwain seed is mostly used in breads, biscuits, naans and parathas. Due to its strong flavor it does not pair well with every spice and herb.
The combo of ajwain leaves and yogurt called thambhuli in Kannada is a southern delicacy. It is a no-cook recipe and traditionally enjoyed with steaming hot rice. Can also be great as a dip, side or a raita.