20 Aug 2009

Aromatic Caraway

Caraway was recorded as being cultivated as far back as 1552B.C. in Egypt and is said to be the oldest cultivated spice in Europe. The plant is a member of the parsley family and the part usually used is the fruit, which is dried and sold as caraway seed, or distilled to extract the 3% to 7% essential oil it contains. In areas where the caraway plant is grown the young leaves are often added to salads, the older leaves cooked like spinach and the roots are boiled and eaten like any other root vegetable.

Although caraway is mainly used for it's wonderful flavouring it also has healing properties. The fruit contains a hydrocarbon, carvene and an oxygenated oil, carvol. It also contains the minerals magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, and iron. Chewing caraway seeds or massaging the affected area with diluted caraway oil can relieve indigestion, expel flatulence, ease IBS colon discomfit and menstral cramps. A few drops of the oil in warm water, when gargled, will ease a sore throat. Plus, since ancient times midwives have found caraway useful to stimulate breast milk in nursing mothers and for easing colic in babies.

Many German and Northern European dishes contain caraway. The seeds are sprinkled in and on bread, muffins and scones, added to potato salad, sauerkraut, lentil soup and to many sweet and savoury apple dishes. Many people, at some stage in their lives, had Caraway Comfits which are caraway seeds encrusted in white sugar. The Russians and the Germans even make a liqueur called Kummel from caraway. If you haven't tried caraway before, sprinkle a few seeds the next time you make a potato or cabbage dish and see if you like it's unique spicy flavour.!


Beet, Cabbage, and Carrot Slaw with Caraway Seeds
From Whole Living

1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp white or yellow miso paste
1 small shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups julienned or grated beets (about 2)
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage (1/4 medium)
1 1/2 cups julienned or grated carrots (about 3)

Make dressing: In a small bowl, combine caraway, lemon juice, miso, and shallot. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Season with pepper. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine beets, cabbage, and carrots. Drizzle dressing over vegetables, and toss until combined. Serve chilled or at room temp. Serves 6.

Hungarian Vegan Goulash Soup
From VegWeb
Recipe submitted by

1 large onion, diced
3 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups diced rutabaga (or turnip)
1 roasted red bell pepper, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tsps caraway seeds
2 tbsps Hungarian sweet paprika
2 quarts / 2 litres vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps corn starch, dissolved in 1/2 cup COLD water
1 tbsp olive oil

Saute the diced onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the paprika, stir for 1 minute. Add garlic, saute for 2 minutes more. Add this mixture to the vegetable broth. Add the diced potatoes & rutabaga, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. After simmering for 25 minutes (NOT boiling), add the corn starch mixture to thicken. This recipe is based on my grandmothers which used beef and beef broth. Its absolutely delicious, and on a cold day, I'll eat a large bowl of this with vegan bread for dipping into it. As a variation, one can remove 12oz / 350mls of vegetable broth, and add 12ozs / 350mls of dark vegan beer. Adding 2 diced parsnips is also a nice variation, if one likes them. Serves: 6-8

Caraway Rye Crackers
From RecipeZAAR
By Tina and Dave
You can add different seeds, spices...vary the flours...the options are endless! Source: The Flavor Makers Cook Book, Iara Lewin ( . Makes 30 crackers

1 cup rye flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsps caraway seeds
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
ice-cold water

Preheat oven 350F / 175C. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the oil and stir with fork until moistened. Sprinkle the water, a little at a time, stirring until the mixture forms a ball. (For the next step I used a silicon sheet, folded in half ~ Tina). Divide the dough in half and place one half between 2 large sheets waxed paper. Roll the dough until 1/16 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of paper and cut dough into 1- 1/2 inch shapes or rectangles. Repeat with remaining dough. Put the crackers on ungreased baking sheets and prick each cracker 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Cool and serve with whatever takes your fancy!

Vegan Irish Soda Bread
From Vegetarian Cooking
By Jolinda Hackett
Vegan soda bread is also much lower in fat than a traditional Irish soda bread, which uses buttermilk.

1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 tbsps water
1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp vinegar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour, plus 1 tsp
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsps vegan margarine
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F / 190C and lightly grease a loaf pan. Whisk together the egg replacer and water until foamy. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar. This will serve as the buttermilk replacement for your vegan Irish soda bread. In a separate large bowl, combine 3/4 cup wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the vegan margarine and stir to combine. Slowly combine the egg replacer, and soy milk and vinegar with the dry ingredients. Gently toss together the 1 tsp of whole wheat flour with the raisins to coat, and add caraway seeds. Add raisins and caraway seeds to dough, stirring to combine. Pour dough into greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.

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Mihl said...

As a kid I really hated caraway. I could not understand how my dad could eat caraway bread. And now I really love it. Caraway has such a complex flavour.

Mike Foster said...

Not a big fan of caraway, but those recipes look delicious. You have swayed me.


Joy Winner-or-Whiner said...

Thanks for the info. I bet it gives the raw crackers a nice punch.

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Marion said...

You would think I would like caraway, having been born is Germany. Yet it is one herb I really don't like.

I'll try a recipe or two and see if they will change my mind...they certainly look tempting!

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Nurse Triage said...

Yes very helpful tips for the healthy life style.

Electronic Medical Records said...

I love the flavour of the caraway asia it is used widely to season a lot of pulses.

Vegan Diet Restaurant Guide said...

Thank you for the information on this often overlooked spice.

feelgoodagain said...

Do you have a recipe for home-made humous?.
I am a vegan of over 2 years now and I have never had more energy, don't get that sluggish drained/tired feeling....I also gave up grains, wheat gluten etc.
Did anyone here go to the Vegan festival in Kensington last weekend?. I was there.

Jackie said...

Thanks everyone. Was not a huge fan of caraway myself but due to old age am getting more into it due to it being great for IBS :)

Feelgoodagain, tons of recipes on web if you require exact proportions but for hummous I basically mix one tin organic chick peas, chopped onion, coriander (+/- half bunch), ground black pepper and enough cold pressed virgin olive oil (or avocado oil) to make it the right consistency.

Vincent, will get back to you.

TC said...

Tasty recipes. In my hometown we used to eat these sandwiches when I was younger that were made on Kimmelweck rolls. They novelty of these rolls was the caraway seeds on top. Thanks for stopping by my Live Smart Blog today.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I loooove the smell of caraway!

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God's Grace.