Also known as carom, Ajwain seeds have a powerful aroma, are thyme-like to taste, with a peppery note, and a slight bitterness which mellows when cooked. Ajwain is popular in India, the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in curry and bean dishes, pickles and chutneys, and can be used to help balance the ‘hotness’ of chilli. Ajwain goes well with starchy foods and may be sprinkled onto paratha bread of India and used in Indian fried snacks made with chickpea flour, pakoras and bhajias. It is used in spice mixes, notably Ethiopian Berbere and Indian Chat Masala, and helps to flavour the Indian-style snack Bombay Mix. Ajwain seeds are typically tempered in hot oil before use or bruised to release their flavours.