Although caraway is a herb, the seeds are generally thought of as a spice. The long feathery leaves look like carrot leaves (it's the same family) and the flowers grow on umbels like fennel and dill flowers.
(Never plant either of these plants near the other or you'll end up with some very confusing scents and flavours!).
Sow the seeds where they are to grow as the roots are delicate and transplanting
should be avoided if possible. Keep the seeds damp until the plants are established.
They grow up to 60cm and are biennial, doing well in Limpopo (!) and the lowveld in the winter.
They like sandy, light, well-drained soils. Weed them and water them in dry weather
and they will reward you with lush leaves and edible white flowers,
followed by the aromatic seeds for cooking ~ and for the next crop in the garden.
Pick the ripe seed heads when they turn brown, hang them in sheaves upside down and when dried,
shake on to paper and store in airtight jars. Dried caraway flower heads are very useful
in dried flower arrangements.
The leaves are used fresh chopped in salads, with vegetables and in soups and stews.
Chew the seeds (they are rich in protein) and drink the tea – either way it will help
relieve indigestion, freshen your breath and ease the tum – especially in a
flatulent situation, since it was known to "consumeth wind"!
The taproot looks like a carrot and can also be eaten - it's rather like a parsnip.
Try it boiled and served with butter, lemon juice and black pepper.
The seeds are of course the thing we know the best.
Great for chewing (leaves as well) if you want to disguise a garlic breath!
They are good for the digestive process and are often eaten with fatty foods.
Good also with carrots, cheese, apple and cabbage. Mix the crushed seeds with butter or soft cheeses, try some in homemade bread
or a batch of biscuits…or in a goulash.
Low Carb Hungarian Goulash
600g stewing beef
4 Tbs ground pork rind OR 4 Tbs almond powder
1 tsp salt
1½ Tbs paprika
1 large onion chopped
400g tomatoes, peeled and chopped coarsely
1½ cups beef stock (without MSG)
1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed a little
125ml sour cream
Cut the beef into cubes and roll in the
ground pork rinds or almond flour,
seasoned with salt and paprika.
Heat the oil in a pan and sauteé the onions
for a few minutes. Remove the onions and keep aside.
Add the meat to the hot pan, stirring until
it is evenly browned. Add the caraway seeds,
the reserved onions and cover the pan.
Simmer for about 2½ hours.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream
when the goulash has cooled a little.
Eat with “cauliflower rice” and green beans.