On the SIXTH day of Christmas The Spice Trader gave to me:


CARAWAY is grown all over the world, and is said to be one of the most ancient spices. Caraway should always be bought whole and ground as needed. It loses its flavour quickly when ground. It has warm earthy flavours with a hint of MINT & ANISE.

Caraway fruits, commonly (erroneously) called seeds are crescent-shaped achenes, around 2 mm (0.08 in) long, with five pale ridges. The english use of the term 'caraway' dates back to at least 1440.

Caraway was mentioned by the Greek Dioscorides as a herb and tonic. It was later mentioned by the Roman Apicius as an ingredient in recipes.

Here is a recipe for Beef Stew with Caraway Dumplings.


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pound lean stew beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups homemade beef stock

1 cup of water
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound small whole mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
Caraway Dumplings

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a bag. Shake beef cubes in seasoned flour to coat.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven with a heavy bottom. Brown beef cubes over medium-high heat, turning to brown all sides. Add onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in broth, and water, wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

For Dumplings: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and caraway seeds in a small bowl.

Beat egg in a 1-cup measuring cup. Add enough milk to egg to measure 1/2 cup. Pour egg-milk mixture into flour. Stir to form a stiff batter. Don't over-mix.

Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto top of simmering stew. Cover and steam for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, brown mushrooms in butter and add to stew.