ajwain (AHJ-a-wahn) seed – the fruit pod / seed of a plant in the parsley family, they look like small caraway seeds, but taste like a pungent version of thyme
1 tsp ajwain seed ≈ 1 1/4 tsp dried thyme
AKA carom seed / bishop’s weed / ajowan / ajowan seed / ajwon / ajwan / ajman
Asafoetida (ah-sah-FEH-teh-dah) powder – the dried gum oleoresin from the underground rhizome of several species of Ferula, which is a perennial herb; very strong onion-garlic flavor; taste is bitter and acrid, but odor and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil; powder is asafoetida mixed with rice flour and gum arabic
¼ tsp asafoetida powder = ¼ tsp garlic powder + ¼ tsp onion powder.
AKA asafetida / food of the gods / heeng / imguva
Despite its unpleasant aroma, asafoetida is considered both a digestive aid and antiflatulent.
Nigella Sativa (ni-jel’-uh suh-tee-vah) – the seed of a flowering plant of the buttercup family native to southwest Asia. Used in traditional Lebanese, Indian, Serbian, Moroccan and Armenian cuisines.
Traditional medicinal uses of black seed are extensive, including the treatment of skin conditions, respiratory infections, intestinal disorders and parasites, headaches, toothaches and more. Nigella helps promote lactation in nursing mothers and uterine contractions during labor, works as an insect repellent and is known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Studies suggest it also inhibits cancer cell progression and boosts the immune system.
The seeds have a slightly bitter and peppery quality with a mild oregano-like flavor. They should be lightly toasted before using whole, crushed or ground.
1 tsp nigella sativa ≈ 1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp nigella sativa ≈ 1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp nigella sativa ≈ 1 tsp sesame seed + a pinch or two of black pepper
AKA black cumin / black caraway / black onion seed / black seed / charnuska / kolonji (India) / sanouj (Morocco) / fennel flower / nutmeg flower / Roman coriander