Closely related to thyme, ajowan seeds are often used in lentil dishes and South Asian cooking. Roasting the seeds in ghee or neutral oil brings out their essential flavor. Although ajowan looks like a seed, it is technically a fruit.
Especially, popular in southern Indian cooking, ajowan seeds -- also known as ajwain -- are similar to lovage seeds, and have a flavor reminiscent of thyme. Both ajowan and thyme contain thymol, an essential oil that produces a pleasant aroma and strong flavor. Ajowan seeds are found in Asian cooking, biscuits, savory pastries, and breads.