I love using caraway in my cooking. It’s probably my favorite spice. Its delicious fruits (erroneously called seeds) add a lovely pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma to bread, especially rye bread. But I also like to use this awesome spice in casseroles, Indian and Persian rice dishes, as well as cabbage dishes. The characteristic flavor and aroma come from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene.

Carum carvi is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as meridian fennel or Persian cumin. It is native to west Asia, Europe and Northern Africa. The roots can be cooked the same way as carrots and parsnips. The leaves can be eaten raw, dried or cooked. And to boot, the fruits have therapeutic properties.

Medicinal uses

Caraway can be taken as tea or tincture to combat flatulence, indigestion and abdominal pain. It regulates the blood flow in the stomach and intestines. It also promotes digestion by stimulating stomach juice secretion.

Caraway tea recipe

  1. Take 1-2 teaspoons of caraway fruit and crush it in a morsel. Transfer the crushed fruits to a cup.
  2. Add hot water and let it steep covered for 10 minutes. Make sure to cover the cup with a lid to prevent the essential oils from dissipating.
  3. Remove the lid and let the drops that condensed on the lid drip back into the cup. They contain the essential oils!
  4. Enjoy it 3 times per day.

Caraway fruit oil (Carvi aetheroleum) has anti-fungal properties. Is also used as a breath freshener and as a fragrance in soaps, mouthwashes, shaving lotions and perfumes.

Culinary uses

Caraway is often added to sauerkraut and other dishes containing cabbage. It is also used in Indian rice dishes and Serbian cuisine to flavor cheeses and salty scones. Keleacha, a Syrian sweet scone contains caraway.


Caraway, like anise and fennel must be stored in an air-tight container away from light. Because of the essential oil content, it should only be roasted or ground immediately before use.

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