Though it's related to caraway and cumin, ajowan tastes more like thyme with an astringent edge. This native of southern India can be found in Indian markets in either ground or seed form. The light brown to purple-red seeds resemble celery seeds in size and shape. Ajowan is most commonly added to chutneys, curried dishes, breads and legumes. It's also called carom. See also spices.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.