What can I use as a substitute for ajwain (Carom Seeds)

Do you love cooking like me? Defiantly you explore new recipes with new ingredients like Ajwain.

Ajwain seeds are a great way to add flavor to food. They have an aromatic, pungent taste and smell used in various dishes. Carom seeds also have several health benefits too.

If you cannot find it at the grocery store or need some alternatives for carom seed, here are some substitutes for ajwain or carom seeds that you can use from bread to any savory dishes without changing the flavor. So go ahead and try them out today!

What is Ajwain ( Carom Seeds)? Ajwain uses

Carom (Ajwain) seeds are one of the commonly used spices in Indian cuisine. These seeds have a strong flavor and are often used in pickles, chutneys, or spice mixes. 

They can also be eaten whole, but they’re generally crushed or ground before use. Carom seeds are high in antioxidants and have many health benefits.

Carom seeds are often confused with cumin, but their taste is quite different. Carom seeds have a strong flavor and smell, while cumin has a milder flavor. Carom seeds are also known as “aji jeera,” which is the Hindi name for Ajwain.

Carom seeds are yellow, with little ridges running down their sides. When whole, they look like this:

There are two ways to use carom seeds in cooking.

First way: Cooking with whole seeds directly. Just like any other whole spices, you can add them to warm oil or ghee until they “pop.” You can also add them to dishes without frying them, but cooking them first in hot oil helps release their flavors.

Second way: Grinding or roasting them, and then using them in cooking. This is the most popular method of use.

11 Best Substitute For Ajwain in cooking


Lovage seeds are a great substitute for carom seeds. Lovage Seeds can be used as digestive, carminative, and diuretic. Lovage seeds help in expelling gas from the stomach and intestine. (source)

Lovage seeds have a high oil content, which makes them excellent for use in cooking and baking. The oil extracted from lovage seeds is also used in the cosmetics industry. Lovage seeds can be used to make a tea that is said to help with digestive issues.

Lovage seed is a popular substitute for ajwain

Lovage seeds are also sometimes used as a coffee substitute. The leaves can be used in salads or as a garnish. The roots can be cooked and eaten like turnips or parsnips. And the seeds can be used in baking or cooking or ground into a powder and used as a seasoning.


Oregano is a great way to add flavor to your food. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta and pizza to chicken and fish.

And it’s not just for Italian food – oregano can be used in all sorts of cuisines. So if you’re looking for a method to add some extra flavor to your meals, oregano is a great option.

If you want to substitute oregano for the carom seeds, do so in a 1:1 ratio. So, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of carom seeds, use 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of oregano instead.

Keep in mind that oregano is more pungent than carom seeds, so you may want to use a little less than the recipe calls for.


If you’re looking to add a bit of flavor to your dish without using carom seeds, try substituting thyme instead.

Thyme is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, making it ideal for individuals who want to try new flavors. Plus, it’s easy to find at most grocery stores. Simply add a bit of thyme to your dish during the cooking process and enjoy the delicious results.

Additionally, thyme has a number of health benefits, so you can feel good about adding it to your meals.


Caraway seeds can be used as a substitute for carom seeds in many recipes. When substituting caraway for carom, use a 1:1 ratio.

Caraway seeds have a similar flavor to carom seeds, but they are slightly more pungent. Caraway seeds can be found in most grocery stores in the spice aisle. If you cannot find caraway seeds, you can also use cumin seeds as a substitute.


Carom seeds, also known as ajwain, are commonly used in Indian cooking. They have a pungent, anise-like flavor released when they’re cooked.

Fennel seeds have a similar flavor, making them a good substitute for carom seeds. When substituting fennel for carom, use a 1:1 ratio.

So, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of carom seeds, use 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds instead. Remember that fennel seeds are slightly larger than carom seeds, so you may need to adjust the amount you use accordingly.

Fennel can also be used in place of carom seeds in pickling recipes.

Fennel is a versatile spice often used in Indian and Chinese cuisine. It has a bit sweet, anise-like flavor and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Fennel is available year-round, but it is in peak season from October through February.

Fennel can be utilized in various dishes, including soups, stews, curries, and vegetable dishes. It is also a popular ingredient in many Indian and Chinese dishes. Fennel can be used fresh, dried, or ground. When using fennel, be sure to remove the tough outer layer before using.

Fennel is a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. It also contains a compound called anethole, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Check More- 7 Best Substitutes for Fennel Bulb in soup and salad


One common substitution that can be made in cooking is to use cumin in place of carom seeds. This substitution can be helpful if you do not have carom seeds on hand or if you are looking to add a different flavor to your dish.

Cumin has a similar flavor to carom seeds but is slightly sweeter and more pungent.

When substituting cumin for carom seeds, use a little less cumin than you would carom seeds, as cumin is more potent.

You can start by using 1/2 teaspoon of cumin for every 1 teaspoon of carom seeds called for in your recipe.

If you find that the cumin is too strong, you can adjust the amount to suit your taste. Cumin is a great carminative agent.


Anise can be utilized as a substitute for bishop’s weed in cooking. When substituting anise for carom seeds, use a 1:1 ratio.

Anise has a similar flavor to carom seeds but is more potent. Use less anise than you would carom seeds if you are looking to replicate the flavor of carom seeds exactly.

Anise can be used in savory dishes as well as sweet dishes. Add anise to spice up your next dish!


Dill is another superb choice for Carom seeds. It has a more lemony flavor than carom seeds. You can use it in pickles, soups, and salad dressings.

Dill goes exceptionally well with cucumbers, potatoes, and fish. When substituting dill for ajwain, use about half as much because it is more potent.


Tarragon is another amazing alternative to ajwain. It has a more subtle flavor, so it won’t overpower your dish.

Tarragon is a popular alternative for ajwain

When substituting tarragon for carom seeds, use a 1:1 ratio. If you want a more intense flavor, use 2 parts tarragon for every 1 part carom seed.


Do you have taco seasoning? Great! Substitute it for carom seeds—1:1 ratio.

So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of carom seeds, use 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning instead! Taco seasoning adds a bit more of a zing to your dish. It is a great way to add extra flavor to your meal!

If you don’t have taco seasoning, you can also substitute it with chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder. These spices will give your dish a similar flavor profile as taco seasoning.

So if you’re looking to add a bit of zing to your meal, try substituting taco seasoning with these spices!


Marjoram is another suitable replacement for carom seeds. This herb has a slightly minty and sweet taste that can go well in many different dishes.

You can use it in place of carom seeds when making bread, cakes, cookies, and even some savory dishes. 

Keep in mind that marjoram is not as strong as carom seeds, so you may need to use a little more of it to get the same flavor.

Carom seeds are a substitute in Indian cooking

Carom seeds are also called ajwain, which is what you’ll see them referred to as if you’re in an Indian grocery store.

It’s a good idea always to have carom seeds in your spice cabinet because they go so well with a variety of Indian dishes.

Carom seeds are bitter to the taste and have a subtle flavor reminiscent of anise or oregano. They’re used in small quantities and provide a great counterbalance to many other flavors in your meal.

One of the common uses for carom seeds is in bread. If you’re making any variety of Indian bread, you’ll know that it can be very dry and crumbly unless you add some oil. Carom seeds and water can be used as a substitute for oil in this case; if you’re trying to cut down on oil, this is a good option.

Carom seeds are also used in lentil soups. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the best way to eat lentils is for them to be ground up first so that your body breaks down the tough fiber better. If you add a little water and carom seeds to your lentils, you’ll get the same results.

One such dish is the preparation of fish in mustard sauce. This dish is made by coating the fish with carom seeds, ginger, and garlic paste.

The fish is then shallow-fried and simmered in a sauce of hot oil, mustard paste, and green chilies. Finally, some fresh cilantro leaves are added as a garnish.

An important part of eating fish in Bengal is the use of dahi (yogurt) as an accompaniment.

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Caraway / Ajwain substitute in samosa

Ajwain is an excellent substitute for samosa, as it has a similar flavor. Additionally, ajwain is a great source of dietary fiber, beneficial for digestion.

Ajwain seeds are also known for their medicinal benefits, including the treatment of stomach pain, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. The seeds are also known to provide relief from gas and colic.

Ingredients: Serves 4-6 people

  • Potato
  • Carom seeds
  • Turmeric, salt
  • Maida or wheat flour


1) Wash the potatoes and soak them in water for 1 hour. Then, boil the potatoes and mash them while still hot.

2) Put ajwain seeds in a pan and toast them on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Do not allow the seeds to burn.

3) Crush the seeds and keep them aside. In a bowl, take maida, ajwain, salt, and oil and knead into a dough using water as required.

4) From the dough, make small balls and roll out each ball into thin rotis using dry flour for rolling. Fill each roti with the mashed potatoes and seal the edges tightly.

5) Now, deep fry these in oil until they turn golden brown in color from all sides. Remove this Peshawari Aloo ki Tikki from the oil and serve hot with chutney or sauce.

How to take ajwain seeds / Best Way to Use Carom Seeds

The most suitable way to use carom seeds in cooking is to roast them lightly before adding them to dishes.

Carom seeds have a spicy flavor and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. They’re a great addition to curries, lentil dishes, and rice dishes. You can also add them to bread, cakes, and cookies.

Carom seeds are best used in ground form, but if you’re using whole seeds, take care not to burn them. They have a special flavor and can be quite strong if overcooked.

Types of carom seeds

There are three types of carom seeds: ajwain, bishop’s weed, and carom.

Ajwain is the most popular type of carom seed and is mostly used in India and Pakistan. Bishop’s weed is mostly used in the United Kingdom, and carom is mainly used in the United States.

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FAQs Related to Ajwain or Carrom Seeds substitutes

Q1. Can we use ajwain instead of oregano?

Ajwain is a spice often used in Indian cuisine, so there are plenty of recipes out there that are sure to tickle your taste buds.

Ajwain has a flavor similar to oregano, but it is slightly more pungent. Therefore, ajwain can easily go with any dish that calls for Oregano.

The best way to eat ajwain is by sprinkling it over bread or meats. You can also use it in curries, but remember to use it sparingly as it can easily overpower a dish.

Q2. Can I use cumin instead of ajwain?

Yes, cumin can be used to substitute for ajwain in traditional recipes. While cumin is not a direct replacement for ajwain in many dishes, you might still be able to use it in a pinch.

Ajwain can be tricky at the grocery store, so if you run out of your favorite Indian dish because you couldn’t find it, consider using cumin instead.

Cumin is one of the fundamental ingredients in curry powder, which can flavor dishes in the same way that ajwain leaves are used.

Q3. Are cumin and ajwain the same?

NO. Both Cumin and Ajwain are spices from different tastes, textures, appearances, and sources.

Q4. Is ajwain the same as fennel?

Ajwain and fennel are actually two different spices. Ajwain is a seed with a strong, pungent flavor, while fennel is a sweet-tasting herb. Both can be used to flavor food.

Q5. Are carom seeds the same as caraway seeds?

No, but they are relatively the same.

Caraway seeds are used in cooking to add flavor to various foods like cabbage, meats, cheeses, and bread, while carom seeds are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat fever, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, and halitosis.

Q6. What is another name for carom seeds? 

Carom seeds are known by different names like- Ajwain, ajowan, caraway, omam podi, bishop’s weed, and thymol seeds.

Q7. What is ajwain good for?

1. Carom seeds are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help improve digestion and prevent constipation.

2. Carom seeds are also a good source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. These minerals are essential for maintaining overall health and vitality.

3. Carom seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

4. Carom seeds are also a natural detoxifier, which can help rid the body of harmful toxins and pollutants.

5. Carom seeds are known to boost immunity and help fight off infection.

6. Carom seeds can also help regulate blood sugar levels and improve blood circulation.

7. Carom seeds can help fight off free radicals and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

8. Finally, carom seeds also serve as a diuretic and can help relieve symptoms of urinary infections.

9. Carom seeds add a pungent flavor to dishes, making them a popular choice in Indian cuisine.

10. Carom seeds are also known as Ajwain seeds.

Q8. What Is The English Name For Ajwain?

Carom seeds, Trachyspermum ammi, and bishop’s weed.

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